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manage and install vim plugins (including their dependencies) in a sane way. If you have any trouble contact me. Usually I reply within 24 hours
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VAM — maximizing overall Vim experience

“VAM” is short name for vim-addon-manager


  • Declarative: The behaviour of Vim is determined by your .vimrc only. [1]
  • Automatic runtimepath handling: install/ update/ use manually installed addons on startup or load them lazily as needed when you feel that way. [3]
  • Builtin dependency management. [2]
  • Based on a pool of addons which is maintained by the community. This allows warning you if you’re going to install outdated packages. Of course you can opt-out and use your own pool easily.
  • Sources from, git, mercurial, subversion, bazaar, darcs, [...]
  • Addon name completion in .vim files and :(Update|Activate)Addons commands.
  • Short syntax for github repos: github:name/repo.
  • Optionally writes update logs.
  • Cares about windows users.
  • Addon info by name or script id (:AddonInfo).
  • Tries to preserve user modifications by using diff/patch tools on unix like environments (for non-version-controlled sources).
  • 100 % VimL (is this really that good?..)

[1]: assuming you always use latest versions

[2]: this serves the community by making it easy to reuse other’s code. Implemented by a addon-info.json file and patchinfo database for addons without VAM support.

[3]: Yes — there are some special cases where it does not work correctly because some autocommands don’t get triggered


Pool is made up of

[4]: Plugin authors should use addon-info file instead. patchinfo.vim is for addons not supporting VAM.


VAM is well supported by at least 2 maintainers. Try github tickets or Vim irc channel on freenode.

MINIMAL setup (2 lines)

set runtimepath+=/path/to/vam
call vam#ActivateAddons([list of addon names])

However the “self install” alternative is recommended, see section 2 of GETTING STARTED

Let me see all docs!

Here you go:


See contact information in GETTING STARTED documentation.


It’ll never have nice install progress bars — because the “progress” is not very well known because addons can be installed at any time — and additionall dependencies may be encountered.

If you want to be able to rollback you have to use git submodules yourself or find a different solution — because VAM also supports other VCS and installing from archives.

Related work

Also very famous:

debian’s vim plugin manager The author (Jamessan) is fine with this project sharing the same name.

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