The Missing Piping Puzzle: vipe

Today I have found a CLI tool that I have already missed a few times. This tool is vipe.

Use Case

Occasionally I am using vim - to pipe an output of another command to Vim, for example:

$ echo 'Hello world!' | vim -

However, quite often I have missed the possibility to pipe Vim contents forward. Trying to do so returns unsatisfying results:

$ echo 'Hello world!' | vim - | cat
Vim: Warning: Output is not to a terminal

vipe to the Rescue

Manpage for vipe(1) is extremely concise. Shortening it even more:

vipe allows you to run your editor in the middle of a unix pipeline and edit the data that is being piped between programs.

As simple as that! It runs your default editor and allows you to do the magic:

vipe Usage Example


vipe is installed via moreutils. If you are using a distro with apt, then run apt install moreutils and if you are on MacOS, then go with brew install moreutils.


I am really glad that I have discovered this tool. It might not be an every day use however, I am looking to the convenience it brings to the toolkit.