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Change cursor shape in different modes

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created March 28, 2009 · complexity basic · author Weltensegler · version 7.0

To change the shape of the cursor in different modes, you can add the following into your vimrc.

For the Gnome-Terminal (version 2.26)Edit

if has("autocmd")
  au InsertEnter * silent execute "!gconftool-2 --type string --set /apps/gnome-terminal/profiles/Default/cursor_shape ibeam"
  au InsertLeave * silent execute "!gconftool-2 --type string --set /apps/gnome-terminal/profiles/Default/cursor_shape block"
  au VimLeave * silent execute "!gconftool-2 --type string --set /apps/gnome-terminal/profiles/Default/cursor_shape ibeam"

If you use more than one profile in gnome-terminal, you might have to adapt this to your profiles.

For iTerm2 on OS X Edit

let &t_SI = "\<Esc>]50;CursorShape=1\x7"
let &t_EI = "\<Esc>]50;CursorShape=0\x7"

For tmux running in iTerm2 on OS X:

let &t_SI = "\<Esc>Ptmux;\<Esc>\<Esc>]50;CursorShape=1\x7\<Esc>\\"
let &t_EI = "\<Esc>Ptmux;\<Esc>\<Esc>]50;CursorShape=0\x7\<Esc>\\"

In theory, the escape sequence could be used for tmux in any terminal.

NOTE: These do not work with the default terminal.

For Konsole in KDE4Edit

let &t_SI = "\<Esc>]50;CursorShape=1\x7"
let &t_EI = "\<Esc>]50;CursorShape=0\x7"

This works with multiple tabs and windows.

For xfce-terminalEdit

if has("autocmd")
  au InsertEnter * silent execute "!sed -i.bak -e 's/TERMINAL_CURSOR_SHAPE_BLOCK/TERMINAL_CURSOR_SHAPE_UNDERLINE/' ~/.config/Terminal/terminalrc"                                                                                          
  au InsertLeave * silent execute "!sed -i.bak -e 's/TERMINAL_CURSOR_SHAPE_UNDERLINE/TERMINAL_CURSOR_SHAPE_BLOCK/' ~/.config/Terminal/terminalrc"                                                                                          
  au VimLeave * silent execute "!sed -i.bak -e 's/TERMINAL_CURSOR_SHAPE_UNDERLINE/TERMINAL_CURSOR_SHAPE_BLOCK/' ~/.config/Terminal/terminalrc"  

See alsoEdit


In a vim_use thread on 31 March 2009, Matt Wozniski made the following comments:

Re the Gnome code: Unless I'm misunderstanding something, this would not only work improperly when combined with tools like screen and dvtm, but also, when you have multiple terminals open, it would change the cursor shape in all of them!

Re the KDE4 code: That won't play nicely with gnu screen, or with dvtm, or any of the other terminal multiplexers out there.

Both will probably have problems with multiple tabs.

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