Control nvim processes using "nvr" commandline tool
This package provides an executable called nvr which solves these cases:
- Controlling nvim processes from the shell. E.g. opening files in another terminal window.
- Opening files from within
:terminalwithout starting a nested nvim process.
pip3 install neovim-remote
If you encounter any issues, e.g. permission denied errors or you can't find the
nvr executable, read INSTALLATION.md.
Nvim always starts a server. Get its address via
:echo $NVIM_LISTEN_ADDRESS or
:echo v:servername. Or specify an address at startup:
nvr will use
$NVIM_LISTEN_ADDRESS or any address given to it via
If the targeted address does not exist, nvr starts a new process by running
"nvim". You can change the command by setting
$NVR_CMD. (This requires
forking, so it won't work on Windows.)
Start a nvim process (which acts as a server) in one shell:
And do this in another shell:
# nvr uses /tmp/nvimsocket by default, so we're good. # Open two files: nvr --remote file1 file2 # Send keys to the current buffer: nvr --remote-send 'iabc<esc>' # Enter insert mode, insert 'abc', and go back to normal mode again. # Evaluate any VimL expression, e.g. get the current buffer: nvr --remote-expr 'bufname("")' README.md
click here to see all nvr options
$ nvr -h usage: nvr [arguments] Remote control Neovim processes. If no process is found, a new one will be started. $ nvr --remote-send 'iabc<cr><esc>' $ nvr --remote-expr 'map([1,2,3], "v:val + 1")' Any arguments not consumed by options will be fed to --remote-silent: $ nvr --remote-silent file1 file2 $ nvr file1 file2 All --remote options take optional commands. Exception: --remote-expr, --remote-send. $ nvr +10 file $ nvr +'echomsg "foo" | echomsg "bar"' file $ nvr --remote-tab-wait +'set bufhidden=delete' file Open files in a new window from a terminal buffer: $ nvr -cc split file1 file2 Use nvr from git to edit commit messages: $ git config --global core.editor 'nvr --remote-wait-silent' optional arguments: -h, --help show this help message and exit --remote [<file> [<file> ...]] Use :edit to open files. If no process is found, throw an error and start a new one. --remote-wait [<file> [<file> ...]] Like --remote, but block until all buffers opened by this option get deleted or the process exits. --remote-silent [<file> [<file> ...]] Like --remote, but throw no error if no process is found. --remote-wait-silent [<file> [<file> ...]] Combines --remote-wait and --remote-silent. --remote-tab [<file> [<file> ...]] Like --remote, but use :tabedit. --remote-tab-wait [<file> [<file> ...]] Like --remote-wait, but use :tabedit. --remote-tab-silent [<file> [<file> ...]] Like --remote-silent, but use :tabedit. --remote-tab-wait-silent [<file> [<file> ...]] Like --remote-wait-silent, but use :tabedit. --remote-send <keys> Send key presses. --remote-expr <expr> Evaluate expression and print result in shell. --servername <addr> Set the address to be used. This overrides the default "/tmp/nvimsocket" and $NVIM_LISTEN_ADDRESS. --serverlist Print the TCPv4 and Unix domain socket addresses of all nvim processes. -cc <cmd> Execute a command before every other option. -c <cmd> Execute a command after every other option. -d Diff mode. Use :diffthis on all to be opened buffers. -l Change to previous window via ":wincmd p". -o <file> [<file> ...] Open files via ":split". -O <file> [<file> ...] Open files via ":vsplit". -p <file> [<file> ...] Open files via ":tabedit". -q <errorfile> Read errorfile into quickfix list and display first error. -s Silence "no server found" message. -t <tag> Jump to file and position of given tag. --nostart If no process is found, do not start a new one. --version Show the nvr version. Development: https://github.com/mhinz/neovim-remote Happy hacking!
Typical use cases
Open files from within
:terminalwithout starting a nested nvim process.
This works without any prior setup, because
$NVIM_LISTEN_ADDRESSis always set within Nvim. And
nvrwill default to that address.
I often work with two windows next to each other. If one contains the terminal, I can use
nvr -l footo open the file in the other window.
Open files always in the same nvim process no matter which terminal you're in.
If you just run
nvr -s, a new nvim process will start and set its address to
Now, no matter in which terminal you are,
nvr filewill always work on that nvim process. That is akin to
Use nvr in plugins.
Some plugins rely on the
--remotefamily of options from Vim. Nvim had to remove those when they switched to outsource a lot of manual code to libuv. These options are planned to be added back, though.
Use nvr as git editor.
Imagine Neovim is set as your default editor via
git commitin a regular shell starts a nvim process. But in a terminal buffer (
:terminal), a new nvim process starts as well. Now you have one nvim nested within another.
If you do not want this, put this in your vimrc:
if has('nvim') let $GIT_EDITOR = 'nvr -cc split --remote-wait' endif
That way, you get a new window for inserting the commit message instead of a nested nvim process. But git still waits for nvr to finish, so make sure to delete the buffer after saving the commit message:
:w | bd.
If you don't like using
:w | bdand prefer the good old
:x), put the following in your vimrc:
autocmd FileType gitcommit,gitrebase,gitconfig set bufhidden=delete
To use nvr from a regular shell as well:
$ git config --global core.editor 'nvr --remote-wait-silent'
Use nvr as git mergetool.
If you want to use nvr for
git mergetool, put this in your gitconfig:
[diff] tool = nvr [difftool "nvr"] cmd = nvr -s -d $LOCAL $REMOTE [merge] tool = nvr [mergetool "nvr"] cmd = nvr -s -d $LOCAL $BASE $REMOTE $MERGED -c 'wincmd J | wincmd ='
nvr -dis a shortcut for
nvr -d -Oand acts like
vim -d, thus it uses
:vsplitto open the buffers. If you want them to be opened via
nvr -d -o.
When used as mergetool and all four buffers got opened, the cursor is in the window containing the $MERGED buffer. We move it to the bottom via
:wincmd Jand then equalize the size of all windows via
Use nvr for scripting.
You might draw some inspiration from this Reddit thread.
(Click on the GIFs to watch them full-size.)
Using nvr from another shell:
Using nvr from within
How to open directories?
:e /tmpopens a directory view via netrw. Netrw works by hooking into certain events,
BufEnterin this case (see
:au FileExplorerfor all of them).
Unfortunately Neovim's API doesn't trigger any autocmds on its own, so simply
nvr /tmpwon't work. Meanwhile you can work around it like this:
$ nvr /tmp -c 'doautocmd BufEnter'
Reading from stdin?
echo "foo\nbar" | nvr -o -and
cat file | nvr --remote -work just as you would expect them to work.
If you use a recent enough Neovim, nvr will use the same exit code as the linked nvim.
nvr --remote-wait <file>and then
:cquitin the linked nvim will make nvr return with 1.
How to send a message to all waiting clients?
If you open a buffer with any of the wait options, that buffer will get a variable
b:nvr. The variable contains a list of channels wheres each channel is a waiting nvr client.
Currently nvr only understands the
Exitmessage. You could use it to disconnect all waiting nvr clients at once:
command! DisconnectClients \ if exists('b:nvr') \| for client in b:nvr \| silent! call rpcnotify(client, 'Exit', 1) \| endfor \| endif
Can I have auto-completion for bash?
If you want basic auto-completion for bash, you can source this script in your .bashrc.
This also completes server names with the
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