pynvim: python client for Nvim
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Latest commit 5072b7b Jul 18, 2018

Pynvim: Python client to Neovim

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Pynvim implements support for python plugins in Nvim. It also works as a library for connecting to and scripting Nvim processes through its msgpack-rpc API.


Supports python 2.7, and 3.4 or later.

pip2 install neovim
pip3 install neovim

If you only use one of python2 or python3, it is enough to install that version. You can install the package without being root by adding the --user flag.

If you follow Neovim master, make sure to upgrade the python-client when you upgrade neovim:

pip2 install --upgrade neovim
pip3 install --upgrade neovim

Alternatively, the master version could be installed by executing the following in the root of this repository:

pip2 install .
pip3 install .

Python Plugin API

Pynvim supports python remote plugins (via the language-agnostic Nvim rplugin interface), as well as Vim plugins (via the :python[3] interface). Thus when pynvim is installed Neovim will report support for the +python[3] Vim feature.

The rplugin interface allows plugins to handle vimL function calls as well as defining commands and autocommands, and such plugins can operate asynchronously without blocking nvim. For details on the new rplugin interface, see the Remote Plugin documentation.

Pynvim defines some extensions over the vim python API:

  • Builtin and plugin vimL functions are available as nvim.funcs
  • API functions are available as vim.api and for objects such as buffer.api
  • Lua functions can be defined using vim.exec_lua and called with vim.lua
  • Support for thread-safety and async requests.

See the Python Plugin API documentation for usage of this new functionality.


If you change the code, you need to run

pip2 install .
pip3 install .

for the changes to have effect. For instructions of testing and troubleshooting, see the development documentation.

Usage through the python REPL

A number of different transports are supported, but the simplest way to get started is with the python REPL. First, start Nvim with a known address (or use the $NVIM_LISTEN_ADDRESS of a running instance):

$ NVIM_LISTEN_ADDRESS=/tmp/nvim nvim

In another terminal, connect a python REPL to Nvim (note that the API is similar to the one exposed by the python-vim bridge):

>>> from neovim import attach
# Create a python API session attached to unix domain socket created above:
>>> nvim = attach('socket', path='/tmp/nvim')
# Now do some work. 
>>> buffer = nvim.current.buffer # Get the current buffer
>>> buffer[0] = 'replace first line'
>>> buffer[:] = ['replace whole buffer']
>>> nvim.command('vsplit')
>>>[1].width = 10
>>> nvim.vars['global_var'] = [1, 2, 3]
>>> nvim.eval('g:global_var')
[1, 2, 3]

You can embed neovim into your python application instead of binding to a running neovim instance.

>>> from neovim import attach
>>> nvim = attach('child', argv=["/bin/env", "nvim", "--embed"])

The tests can be consulted for more examples.