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I'm not working on this anymore. It was all experimental.

This project/idea needs a new home.

What is this?

This is a work in progress Atom package that implements complete vim bindings by connecting to Neovim.

What's new?

I've update everything to work with Neovim 0.1.2 (it should also work with the version in master of Neovim. The version I'm currently using: download.

On the Atom side I am currently using version 1.5.3. In versions 0.206 and later you will need to change the name of the directory vim-mode to something else (I use the name nvim-mode). If you don't Atom confuses this plugin with the one developed by GitHub.

It should be usable enough that if you are adventurous you will be able to get day-to-day work done. There are, however, plenty of features missing, so you will have to be patient when you use it.

How do you run this?

Install, run, and quit Atom to make sure .atom exists

Install vim-mode

$ cd .atom/packages
$ git clone
$ cd vim-mode
$ apm install 

On OS X and Linux, create a folder for the named pipe:

$ mkdir -p /tmp/neovim

Run Neovim, pointing it to the named pipe, on OS X and Linux:

$ NVIM_LISTEN_ADDRESS=/tmp/neovim/neovim nvim 

The equivalent in Windows (define an environment variable and point it to the named pipe) is:

set NVIM_LISTEN_ADDRESS=\\.\pipe\neovim

and then


What do you want to do with this?

This project aims to:

  • Bring real vim bindings to Atom.
  • Give the abstract-ui Neovim functionality a work out and find issues using the msgpack api.
  • Eventually build an editor that I would find useful. At the current state it is pre-alpha.

See it in action

A video that shows the current (June/2015) status:

A video that shows the integration in action in March/2015:

An older video from January of the integration in action, using the abstract-ui branch:

and this is an old video from 2014 using the old redraw-events branch (from mid 2014):

Things TO DO

  • Handle files of more than 9999 lines.
  • Handle (or handle better) Atom initiated cursor position changes.
  • Make one of the following UI connections/integrations: visual selection, highlight search, auto completion, etc.
  • Better handle editing of new files
  • Make the geometry of the Atom buffer fully match the geometry of the Neovim buffer.


  1. Find something that doesn't work (this step shouldn't be that hard, plenty of things don't work yet)
  2. Either (a) fix it and send me a pull request or (b) file a bug report so I know it needs to be fixed.

Configuring Atom

To make sure that hjkl get repeated like (Vim and Neovim) on Mac you will need to run (from the command line):

defaults write com.github.atom ApplePressAndHoldEnabled -bool false


Experimental next generation vim support for atom. This project needs a new home!






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