Vterm and manpages: Stuck in normal mode

What happened?

Sporadically when using vterm to view a manpage I end up in a state where I can’t navigate the manpage with f.e. j or k any more.

When it happens I seem to be unable to get back into insert mode so that keystrokes are passed to man. Trying to enter insert mode with i or a prints something like “Already at the end of buffer” to the minibuffer. The only way (for me) to get out of that state was killing the buffer and the running terminal with it.

Has anyone seen something like this happen? Any ideas how to go back, maybe M-x evil-insert?

It happens rarely to me and sadly I don’t have a clear reproducer yet, but I think I’ve seen it happen after switching buffers/workspaces.

What did you expect to happen?

Being able to get back to insert mode and continue to browse manpages.

Steps to reproduce

Don’t know yet, sorry :(

System information


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While I haven’t met this, but IMO using vterm to view manpages is not recommended. In Emacs we have M-x man (f1 W) to view them directly, with superior navigations, too.

Yes, I imagine there are better ways to view manpages, so thanks for the recommendations. However I don’t think this issue is confined to manpages as I think I’ve also come across this issue when using a pager (help(..) in a python interpreter or command | less).

Once I have a way to reproduce, I will share it here: I was mainly wondering if this is a known issue or a case of PEBCAK ;)

You can try disabling evil mode in the vterm buffer with C-z.

Thanks, disabling evil-mode helps when I get dropped in a pager (i.e. journalctl)

for manpages I’ll be using man or woman from now on!

One could probably also hook up something nifty with-editor style that makes man X open the man page up in the parent Emacs session