So I took four files from my laptop:
and put them on our shared hosting server in ~/bin
and it worked! A miracle! I can finally use vifm on this rather locked-down server. It generated a vifmrc, and things are pretty good.
My main wish now is that it would use my vim settings. For some reason, editing a file from this franken-vifm I've created, it doesn't find my vimrc.
Any suggestions how to get vifm to start vim in such a way that vim finds its settings?
Sorry, that was too easy. But it helped to write out the question to y'all. So thanks for listening.
The answer was, in vifmrc:
set vicmd="vim -u ~/.vim/vimrc"