Plugin manager for Kakoune editor.
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plug.kak is a plugin manager for Kakoune editor, that aims to work somewhat similar to vim-plug. This plugin currently supports two latest releases of Kakoune and Kakoune git branch. Default branch is latest release, named accordingly. This branch is for current stable release. If your distribution provides older version, switch to v2018.09.04 branch. If you're using Kakoune builds from Github repo, please use kakoune-git branch. All development process of plug.kak happens in kakoune-git branch, and features are being backported to two latest releases.


You need to create a plugins directory at your Kakoune configuration path. You can check correct location by evaluating this command in Kakoune: echo %val{config}.

mkdir -p ~/.config/kak/plugins/

In my case it is $HOME/.config/kak. After directory was created, you need to clone this repo there with this command:

git clone ~/.config/kak/plugins/plug.kak

And source plug.kak from your kakrc, or any of your configuration file.

source "%val{config}/plugins/plug.kak/rc/plug.kak"

plug.kak can work from any directory, but if you installed it to your plugin installation dir, which defaults to %val{config}/plugins/ plug.kak will be able to update itself along with another plugins.


You can specify what plugins to install and load by using plug command. This command accepts one or more arguments, which are keywords and attributes, that change how plug.kak behaves. For most plugins it is usually enough to provide single argument, which is plugin's author name, and plugin name separated with slash. plug.kak will look for this plugin on GitHub, and download it for you. If you want to install plugin from place other than GitHub, like GitLab or Gitea, plug accepts URL as first parameter. So in most cases it is enough to add this into your kakrc to use a plugin:

plug "delapouite/kakoune-text-objects"

After that you'll need to re-source your kakrc or restart Kakoune to let plug.kak know that configuration was updated, and use a plug-install command to install new plugins. More information about commands available in Commands section.

Keywords and attributes

As was already mentioned plug command accepts optional attributes, that change how plug.kak works, or add additional steps for plug to perform for you. These are keywords to use:

Branch, Tag or Commit

plug can checkout a plugin to desired branch, commit or tag before load. To do so, add this after plugin name: "branch: branch_name", tag: tag_name or commit: commit_hash. Note that this must be a single parameter, and the syntax is very restrictive - you need to specify a keyword separated with a : (colon space) from it's argument. Other keywords are not that restrictive.

Loading subset of files from plugin repository

If you want to load only part of a plugin (assuming that plugin allows this) you can use load keyword followed by filenames. If load isn't specified plug uses it's default value, which is *.kak, and by specifying a value, you just override default one. Here's an example:

plug "lenormf/kakoune-extra" load %{

Skipping loading of a plugin

Some plugins require to be loaded by calling an external tool. In such case use noload attribute to skip loading of installed plugin. Useful with plug.kak itself, because it is already loaded by user configuration.

plug "andreyorst/plug.kak" noload

Automatically do certain tasks on install or update

The do keyword is a post-update hook, that executes shell code only after successful update of plugin or a fresh installation of one. Useful for plugins that need to compile some parts of it.

plug "ul/kak-lsp" noload do %{cargo build --release}

Handling user configurations

plug.kak also capable to handle plugin configurations. You can specify them by using config keyword and list of configurations, or via last parameter, since it is always treated as configurations of the plugin. Configurations are applied only if plugin is installed.

plug "andreyorst/fzf.kak" config %{
    map -docstring 'fzf mode' global normal '<c-p>' ': fzf-mode<ret>'
    set-option global fzf_preview_width '65%'
    evaluate-commands %sh{
        if [ ! -z "$(command -v fd)" ]; then
            echo "set-option global fzf_file_command 'fd . --no-ignore --type f --follow --hidden'"


Plugin installation directory

You can specify where to install plugins, in case you don't like default ~/.config/kak/plugins/ path, you can use option plug_install_dir:

set-option global plug_install_dir '$HOME/.cache/kakoune_plugins'

Or any other path.

Maximum downloads

To specify maximum amount of simultaneous downloads set plug_max_simultaneous_downloads. Default value is 10.

Default git domain

Although you can use URLs inside plugin field, if you're using plugins from, say, Gitlab only, you can drop URLs, and set default git domain to Or to Bitbucket, and any other git domain, as long as it similar to github's in term of URL structure.

Default value is


plug.kak adds four commands:

  • plug-install - Install all plugins specified in any configuration file;
  • plug-update - Update installed plugins;
  • plug-clean - Remove plugins, that are installed, but disabled in configuration files;
  • plug - Load plugin from plugin installation directory.

Here are some examples:

Installing new plugin

  1. Add plug "github_username/reponame" to your kakrc;
  2. Source your kakrc with source command, or restart Kakoune to tell plug.kak that configuration is changed;
  3. Execute plug-install command. Plugins will be loaded and configured accordingly to your kakrc;

Updating installed plugins

  1. Execute plug-update command;
  2. Restart Kakoune to load updated plugins.

Removing unneeded plugins

  1. Delete desired plug entry from your kakrc or comment it;
  2. Source your kakrc with source command, or restart Kakoune to tell plug.kak that configuration is changed;
  3. Execute plug-clean command;
  4. (Optional) If you didn't restarted Kakoune at 2. restart it to unload uninstalled plugins.