Use Pathogen and Git to easily keep your Vim plugins up to date.
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Use Pathogen and Git to manage your Vim plugins.

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To install plugins, put lines like this in your ~/.vimrc:

" Bundle: jQuery                                  #
" Bundle: scrooloose/nerdtree                     #
" Bundle: git://     # Full URL to the repo to clone

When you run ./vim-update-bundles, your plugins will be installed and ready for use.

Type :help bundles from within Vim to show the list of plugins that you have installed. Hit Control-] on the bundle's name to jump to its documentation. Also look at :help bundle-log.

It works with ~/.dotfiles and Git submodules.

If you're not already using Vim, just run ./vim-update-bundles and a full environment will be set up for you.


One of:

  • git clone: git clone
  • rubygem: gem install vim-update-bundles
  • no install: curl -s | ruby


Just run ./vim-update-bundles to install and remove plugins to match the ones named in your ~/.vimrc. If you're not already using Vim, vim-update-bundles will also install Pathogen, a sample .vimrc, and get everything ready to go.

  • -n --no-updates Adds and deletes bundles but doesn't update them. This prevents vim-update-bundles from laboriously scrubbing through every bundle in your .vimrc when you just want to make a quick change.

  • -s --submodule installs bundles as submodules intead of plain Git repositories. You must create the parent repository to contain the submodules before running vim-update bundles.

  • -v --verbose prints more information about what's happening. Pass multiple -v -v -v for more verbosity.

  • --vimdir-path=path specifies the .vim directory that will contain your autoload and bundles.

  • -vimrc-path specifies the location of your ~/.vimrc file.

  • --help prints usage information.

Specifying Plugins

vim-update-bundles reads the plugins you want installed from comments in your ~/.vimrc. Here are the directives it recognizes:


Any line of the format " Bundle: URL [REV] (not case sensitive) will be interpreted as a bundle to download. URL points to a Git repository and REV is an optional refspec (Git branch, tag, or hash). This allows you to follow a branch or lock the bundle to a specific tag or commit, i.e.:

" Bundle: v1.0

If the script lives on vim-scripts or GitHub, the URL can be abbreviated:

" Bundle: tpope/vim-endwise    ->
" Bundle: endwise.vim          ->

vim-update-bundles never deletes files. When you uninstall a plugin, it moves it to the .vim/Trashed-Bundles directory.


Some bundles need to be built after they're installed. Place any number of BundleCommand: directives after Bundle: to execute shell commands within the bundle's directory. To install Command-T and ensure "rake make" is called every time it's updated:

" Bundle:
" BundleCommand: rake make


If you have directories in ~/.vim/bundle that you'd like vim-update-bundles to ignore, mark them as static.

 " Static: my-plugin


vim-update-bundles also supports Vundle-style directives. This allows you to use either tool to manage your bundles, whichever is more convenient at the time. This is brand new so problems are not unexpected.

Configuration File

All configuration options can be passed on the command line or placed in ~/.vim-update-bundles.conf. Putting submodules = 1 in the config file is the same as passing --submodules on the command line.

Blank lines and comments starting with # are ignored.

String interpolation is performed on all values. First configuration settings are tried, then environment variables. Here's an example vim-update-bundles.conf file:

# use shared vim environment
vimdir_path = $HOME/vim/$USERNAME
vimrc_path = $vimdir_path/vimrc

Location of .vim and .vimrc

vim-update-bundles will use ~/.vim and ~/.vimrc if they exist. Since this is also what Vim uses, most people can stop reading here.

If ~/.dotfiles exists, vim-update-bundles will look for .dotfiles/vim and .dotfiles/vimrc.

If your dotfiles are in a custom place, you can specify --vimdir-path and --vimrc-path on the command line or in vim-update-bundles.conf.

If vim-update-bundles still can't find a Vim environment, it will create one for you. It creates the ~/.vim directory and gives you a default ~/.vimrc, downloads and installs Pathogen, and leaves everything ready to roll.

If you're unsure which vimdir_path and vimrc_path are being used, vim-update-bundles --verbose will tell you.


This software is released under the MIT License.


Vundle by gmarik is starting to look pretty awesome.

Additionally, see's tools page.