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created 2003 · complexity basic · author Tom Kompare · version 6.0

I connect to a RedHat9 server via the free software PuTTY from a Windows computer. On the shell (tcsh), the Backspace key was working as it should, but in Vim it was not. No matter what I did in vimrc, it always acted like a Delete key. Very annoying.

I've discovered that one must use the keyboard setting of "linux" in the PuTTY settings in order for the Backspace key to work properly in Vim. The Linux keyboard is not the default. If one does not do this, Vim always is sent the Delete key command when pressing on the Backspace.


If you use dtelnet (dave's telnet) to RH 7.3, and 8.0, same problem appears, not only in Vim, but throughout the session. Choosing term=linux from the menu helps you there also.

The key thing here is changing the string that PuTTY sends to 'linux' from the default of 'xterm'. Doing this magically made everything work as it should.

I also had to change the PuTTY setting "The Backspace Key" to "Control-H" from "Control-?"