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Bash Language Server

Bash language server that brings an IDE-like experience for bash scripts to most editors. This is based on the Tree Sitter parser and supports explainshell and shellcheck.

We strongly recommend that you install shellcheck to enable linting:

Documentation around configuration variables can be found in the config.ts file.


  • Jump to declaration
  • Find references
  • Code Outline & Show Symbols
  • Highlight occurrences
  • Code completion
  • Simple diagnostics reporting
  • Documentation for symbols on hover
  • Workspace symbols

To be implemented:

  • Rename symbol
  • Better jump to declaration and find references based on scope


Usually you want to install a client for your editor (see the section below).

But if you want to install the server binary:

npm i -g bash-language-server

On Fedora based distros:

dnf install -y nodejs-bash-language-server

To verify that everything is working:

bash-language-server --help

If you encounter installation errors, ensure you have node version 16 or newer (node --version).


The following editors and IDEs have available clients:


For Vim 8 or later install the plugin prabirshrestha/vim-lsp and add the following configuration to .vimrc:

if executable('bash-language-server')
  au User lsp_setup call lsp#register_server({
        \ 'name': 'bash-language-server',
        \ 'cmd': {server_info->[&shell, &shellcmdflag, 'bash-language-server start']},
        \ 'allowlist': ['sh', 'bash'],
        \ })

For Vim 8 or Neovim using YouCompleteMe, add the following to .vimrc:

let g:ycm_language_server =
            \ [
            \   {
            \       'name': 'bash',
            \       'cmdline': [ 'bash-language-server', 'start' ],
            \       'filetypes': [ 'sh' ],
            \   }
            \ ]

For Vim 8 or Neovim using neoclide/coc.nvim, according to it's Wiki article, add the following to your coc-settings.json:

  "languageserver": {
    "bash": {
      "command": "bash-language-server",
      "args": ["start"],
      "filetypes": ["sh"],
      "ignoredRootPaths": ["~"]

For Vim 8 or NeoVim using dense-analysis/ale add the following configuration to your .vimrc:

let g:ale_linters = {
    \ 'sh': ['language_server'],
    \ }


For Neovim v0.8:

vim.api.nvim_create_autocmd('FileType', {
  pattern = 'sh',
  callback = function()
      name = 'bash-language-server',
      cmd = { 'bash-language-server', 'start' },

For NeoVim using autozimu/LanguageClient-neovim, add the following configuration to init.vim:

let g:LanguageClient_serverCommands = {
    \ 'sh': ['bash-language-server', 'start']
    \ }

For Vim8/NeoVim v0.5 using jayli/vim-easycomplete. Execute :InstallLspServer sh and config nothing. Maybe it's the easiest way to use bash-language-server in vim/nvim.


On the config file (File -> Preferences -> Edit Oni config) add the following configuration:

"language.bash.languageServer.command": "bash-language-server",
"language.bash.languageServer.arguments": ["start"],


Lsp-mode has a built-in client, can be installed by use-package. Add the configuration to your .emacs.d/init.el

(use-package lsp-mode
  :commands lsp
  (sh-mode . lsp))


The minimum logging level for the server can be adjusted using the BASH_IDE_LOG_LEVEL environment variable and through the general workspace configuration.

Development Guide

Please see docs/development-guide for more information.