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Download runtime files

When you obtain the latest version of Vim through CVS, Subversion or use the archives and apply all the patches, you still don't have the latest version of the runtime files (syntax highlighting, indenting, filetype plugins, etc.). That is because no patches are made for them.

When using Mercurial you already have the latest runtime files

If you can't wait for the next Vim release to get the latest runtime files, this is the way to get them:

  1. Install Aap; see http://www.a-a-p.org/download.html.
  2. You need to be able to write in the $VIMRUNTIME directory. Become root with the "su" command if necessary.
  3. Start Vim and type these commands:
            :cd $VIMRUNTIME
            :!aap -f ftp://ftp.vim.org/pub/vim/runtime/main.aap fetch
    
    This will obtain a recipe with MD5 checksums of the runtime files. Aap will download the files that you don't have yet and the files that have changed. Files that are still the same will be skipped.

Note: This does obtain new files, but it does not delete files that are no longer used. It also is an effective way to erase any changes you made to the files yourself!

After you have done this once you only need to do "aap fetch" in the $VIMRUNTIME directory. The recipe you downloaded contains the URL for where to download the latest version. You can do this as often as you like, for example, every week.

The "main.aap" recipe was generated with the :mkdownload command in Aap.

Alternate method: rsync

If you have the "rsync" command, you can use it to update your runtime files. This example works for Unix. Note that it deletes files that are not on the ftp site. If you want to be careful, leave out the --delete argument. Or be prepared to reinstall Vim.
        :cd $VIMRUNTIME
        :!rsync -avzcP --delete --exclude="dos" --exclude="spell" ftp.nluug.nl::Vim/runtime/ .

This excludes the files used for spell checking, because the contents of the spell directory is huge. If you want to get all the spell files anyway leave out --exclude="spell".

For MS-Windows this command should work:

        :cd $VIMRUNTIME
        :!rsync -avzcP ftp.nluug.nl::Vim/runtime/dos/ .
Note that "--delete" is not there, because there are a few installed files that are not runtime files.

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