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A vi text editor clone for the MSX 8-bit home computer


A vi text editor clone for the MSX 8-bit home computer.


MSX-vi is a clone of the vi text editor for the MSX computer.

MSX is a 8-bit computer system created in 1983 by Microsoft and ASCII Corporation. It was very popular in Japan, some European countries, Korea and Brazil. Although it’s not widely used nowadays, it still has a great number of enthusiasts creating hardware and software for the platform.

Vi is a text editor originally created for the Unix operating system. It became very popular and today there are many different clones available on multiple platforms.

Minimum requirements


My passion for technology started when my parents gave me as a present my first computer. I was 9 years old and the computer was a MSX. At the beginning I was using it just to play games, but I started learning programming by myself (first Logo and Basic later). Nowadays I still enjoy playing with MSX and trying to learn better how it works internally.

Thanks to Javi Lavandeira’s tutorials Relearning MSX on how to program with C for the MSX, I started writing my first programs and tests, and I started to have the idea on writing a vi clone. As far as I know there is nothing similar on the MSX.

I started writing code, but a text editor is way more complex than it looks. Memory management was very difficult for my limited C knowledge. At the end I abandoned the project.

Few months later I discovered the Build Your Own Text Editor tutorial. It is a step by step guide on how to write Antirez’s kilo text editor. I started reading it and I decided to try again writing the vi clone for MSX.


Online Emulator

Try it online:

Note: In some keyboards, the : key doesn’t work in WebMSX.


MSX-vi welcome screen

MSX-vi editing large file

Supported commands

Exiting and saving


Deleting text

Inserting text

Other commands

Compile requirements