vi keeps its temporary copy of the file you're editing in a
command to set the pathname of a different temporary directory.
(If this happens a lot though, you should talk to the system administrator
and see if the standard area can be cleaned up or made bigger.)
The vi command is
set directory - for example,
You have to type that command before giving vi a filename to edit - after that, vi has made the temporary file and you'll be too late. But if you type that command while using vi and then use the, all files from then on will use the new temporary directory.
To set the directory temporarily, it's probably easiest to add that command to the EXINIT:
setenv EXINIT 'set directory=/usr1/jim/vitemp'
There are other ways to change EXINIT, too - see article 6.10.
setenv EXINIT 'source /usr1/jim/.exrc|set directory=/usr1/jim/vitemp'