Changes Vim working directory to project root (identified by presence of known directory or file).
Switch branches/tags
Nothing to show
Clone or download



Rooter changes the working directory to the project root when you open a file or directory.

The project root is identified by:

  • being a known directory;
  • or the presence of a known directory, such as a VCS directory;
  • or the presence of a known file, such as a Rakefile.

Out of the box it knows about git, darcs, mercurial, bazaar, and subversion, but you can configure it to look for anything.


By default you don't need to do anything: vim-rooter will change the working directory automatically and echo the new working directory.

You can turn this off (see below) and use the :Rooter command to invoke vim-rooter manually.

When Rooter changes the working directory it emits the autocmd user event RooterChDir.

Non-project files

There are three options for non-project files/directories:

  • Don't change directory (default).

    let g:rooter_change_directory_for_non_project_files = ''
  • Change to file's directory (similar to autochdir).

    let g:rooter_change_directory_for_non_project_files = 'current'
  • Change to home directory.

    let g:rooter_change_directory_for_non_project_files = 'home'


vim-rooter will unset &autochdir if it's set.

By default all files and directories trigger vim-rooter. Configure a comma separated list of file patterns to specify which files trigger vim-rooter. Include / to trigger vim-rooter on directories.

" directories and all files (default)
let g:rooter_targets = '/,*'

" ignore directories; all files
let g:rooter_targets = '*'

" ignore directories; yaml files
let g:rooter_targets = '*.yml,*.yaml'

" directories and yaml files
let g:rooter_targets = '/,*.yml,*.yaml'

To stop vim-rooter changing directory automatically:

let g:rooter_manual_only = 1

To specify how to identify a project's root directory:

let g:rooter_patterns = ['Rakefile', '.git/']

Vim-rooter checks the patterns depth (height?) first. Directories must have a trailing slash. To work correctly with git submodules place .git before .git/.

If a rooter pattern directory is one of the current file's ancestors, it is taken to be the project root. Otherwise, vim-rooter looks for an ancestor containing the given pattern directory/file.

To change directory for the current window only (:lcd):

let g:rooter_use_lcd = 1

To stop vim-rooter echoing the project directory:

let g:rooter_silent_chdir = 1

By default vim-rooter doesn't resolve symbolic links. To resolve links:

let g:rooter_resolve_links = 1

Using root-finding functionality in other scripts

The public function FindRootDirectory() returns the absolute path to the root directory as a string, if a root directory is found, or an empty string otherwise.

If that's all you need you can turn off the directory-changing behaviour with:

let g:rooter_manual_only = 1


Install into ~/.vim/plugin/rooter.vim or, if you're using Pathogen, into ~/.vim/bundle/rooter.vim.