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vimtips is a project to use fortune software to view vimtips. The vimtips file is a text file with the format of fortune command. You have to generate a index file like this : $ strfile vimtips vimtips.dat and then copy the two files (vimtips ans vimtips.dat) to a directory that fortune scan (/usr/share/fortunes/ or /usr/share/games/fortunes/). To have a tips when you launch vim, insert the next line in your vimrc : au VimEnter * echomsg system('/usr/bin/fortune vimtips') or if you want a tips when you are in vim : :echomsg system('/usr/bin/fortune vimtips') Notice, if you are a debian user, the fortune is located in /usr/games/, not in /usr/bin/.