For people that need full features of vim, the default installation of vim on Mac OS X is definitely not enough. For example, I need to use vim to post to this blog, which requires a version of vim with python support. I also prefer terminal version of vim to the GUI version, so MacVim is less desirable.

One way to get what I want is to compile a version of vim with homebrew. Homebrew does not officially have a vim fomula, because that would be a duplicate of the system version. Fortunately, we can grab an unofficial formula at

Also, you may want to install the latest homebrew python with the framework option:

brew install python --framework

In order for vim to use the homebrew version of python (2.7.3) instead of the system one (an old 2.6), we need to change a line and add a line in the downloaded formula (vim.rb) file:


Now install vim with the formula:

brew install ./vim.rb

To check vim is using the correct version of python. Issue command in vim:

:python import sys; print sys.version

If we get something like this:

2.7.3 (default, May 15 2012, 20:51:34)
[GCC 4.2.1 (Apple Inc. build 5666) (dot 3)]
Press ENTER or type command to continue

we are done!


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