Yeah, I tried that. Didn't work for me, either.
Like I said, some distros, e.g., Debian, Ubuntu, and Sabyon, do use nano with visudo by default, and I think that would be preferable for the majority of users, which is why I suggested it.
HOWEVER, there may be good reasons for Vector not going that way (obviously, you'd have to make room for nano on the cd,) AND I think I figured out a way around that, which seemed to work for me. I repeat from my original post:
I edited the sudoers file with emacs as root, but I kept all the changes commented. Then i opened visudo, used the delete key to remove the comments (the only key that seems to work in the vi command mode), hit ZZ, and I was good to go!
The way it seems to work is, because of security concerns, you supposedly need to edit the /etc/sudoers file with visudo in order for the edited file to be effective. However, it appears that you don't need to do ALL the editing in visudo, just the last part of the editing. It looks like I can do the editing as root with any editor, without visudo, and then simply by opening the file and then resaving it with visudo, visudo gives the file its "blessing". The file becomes "legal", and the changes take effect. So, environment variable or not, I can use whatever editor I please, as long as I use visudo afterward.
At least, it seems to have worked this way once
-- with my current installation of Vector, when I edited the sudoers file yesterday. I now have full root access without a password for my normal user account , using sudo.
If the security "key" to visudo is access to the visudo program itself as root, and such access is necessary to convey the "blessing" of visudo to the edited sudoers file, I don't see that this hack in any way compromises the security that visudo is supposed to represent.
If I'm wrong about ANY of this, somebody please tell me.