Skip to content
A wrapper to make term_start more friendly
Vim script
Branch: master
Clone or download
Type Name Latest commit message Commit time
Failed to load latest commit information.
autoload Make redo mapping work in all terms Apr 1, 2019
plugin Make redo mapping work in all terms Apr 1, 2019
LICENSE Make redo mapping work in all terms Apr 1, 2019 Add todo Sep 20, 2018


A wrapper around vim 8's new term_start to make it friendlier and easier to use.


Vim 8 added asynchronous terminal support via term_start, and it's really neat. Except it's a pain to use. I basically have to do :h term_start every time I think I might want to use it. But it seems like it wasn't really intended to be used directly, since there's no command for it. You have to invoke it with :call term_start. I could've made a simple command like :Term cmd { args } but that's annoying to type every time, so instead, this plugin exposes the determined#command function, which you should call in your vim config setup (e.g. in vimrc). This function will create commands for you that wrap specific invocations of :call term_start to make it easy to use. For example, here are the current commands I'm creating in my setup via determined#command:

" Example:
" :Npm install some-module
call determined#command('Npm', 'npm', { 'vertical': 0, 'rows': '5', 'cols': '40%' })

" Example:
" :Repl
" start an interactive node repl
call determined#command('Repl', 'node', { 'autoclose': 0, 'background': 0 })

" Example:
" :Node -e "[1, 2, 3].map((i) => i * i)"
call determined#command('Node', 'node', { 'vertical': 0, 'rows': '10', 'cols': '40%' })

" Example:
" :Rg blah ./test
call determined#command('Rg', 'rg', { 'background': 0, 'autoclose': 0 })

" Example:
" :Grunt spec:unit
call determined#command('Grunt', 'grunt', { 'autoclose': 0, 'reuse': 1 })

vim-determined makes it easy to interact with any command line tool directly from node. I'd suggest git as an obvious candidate except it still wouldn't be as good as vim-fugitive.


This plugin requires vim at or above version 8 compiled with +terminal (check :echo has('terminal')).


If you don't have a preferred installation method, I really like vim-plug and recommend it.


Clone this repository and copy the files in plugin/, autoload/, and doc/ to their respective directories in your vimfiles, or copy the text from the github repository into new files in those directories. Make sure to run :helptags.

Plug (

Add the following to your vimrc, or something sourced therein:

Plug 'tandrewnichols/vim-determined'

Then install via :PlugInstall

Vundle (

Add the following to your vimrc, or something sourced therein:

Plugin 'tandrewnichols/vim-determined'

Then install via :BundleInstall

NeoBundle (

Add the following to your vimrc, or something sourced therein:

NeoBundle 'tandrewnichols/vim-determined'

Then install via :BundleInstall

Pathogen (

git clone ~/.vim/bundle/vim-determined


To create term_start wrappers at vim startup, call the following function:


This creates a command that wraps some command line tool in a call to term_start. Invoke as follows:

call determined#command(name, cmd, args)


Type: string

The name of the vim command to create. This argument will be capitalized if it is not already because vim requires that custom commands be capitalized.


Type: string

The static part of the command to run when the vim command is invoked. Usually this is the base binary name only, but it could be more if you run very specific things very often. For example:

call determined#command('TermGrep', 'grep -r')


Type: dict

The following options are supported:

  • vertical: Whether the terminal window should split vertically or not. Default 1 (because I use it this way far more often, even though the default for term_start is not vertical). Regardless of the value passed here, you can invert this behavior by calling the created command with !. So in the TermGrep example above, by default, :TermGrep foo would open in a vertical split, but :TermGrep! foo would open in a horizontal one.
  • background: Whether focus should be returned to your current window. Default 1. The nice thing about term_grep is that it is async, so it doesn't interrupt what you're doing in vim. The not so nice thing is that it focuses you on the new terminal window instead of keeping you where you're already working. This flag just runs wincmd p at the end to return you to where you were previously working.
  • autoclose: This param sets 'term_finish': 'close' in the options passed to term_start. Default 0. This is useful if you need to install something or run some other kind of build command of which you don't need to see the final output.
  • reuse: If the same command has been run previously, reuse the existing window instead of creating a new one. Default 0. Useful for running tests or other recurring commands.
  • singleton: Like reuse but for the top level command. If you created :TermGrep with the singleton flag, all greps, regardless of other parameters, will happen in the same window. Default 0.
  • expand: Treat % (and #, <cfile>, etc.) specially and call expand() on it. Default 0. filename-modifiers work here as well, so something like :TermGrep foo %:h:h would work as expected.
  • size: The size of the terminal window. By default, term_start will use half the vertical or horizontal space, and vim-determined keeps this default. You can pass a number (or string number) to specify the number of rows or columns, depending on the vertical flag (i.e. this becomes term_rows or term_cols). But you can also pass a percentage as a string (e.g. '40%') and vim-determined will figure out the number of rows or columns to use. You can also pass the special flags 'small' (or 'sm' or 'quarter') to make it 25%, 'medium' (or 'med' or 'half') to make it 50% (but instead you should probably just let it use the default), or 'large' (or 'lg') to make it 75%. Finally, there is a special value auto which will look at the window height and width ratios to determine for you whether a vertical or horizontal split would be more efficient. Passing auto is incompatible with passing rows and cols (see below). It will also cause ! to be ignored. The one exception to this parameter is that if curwin is set, this option is ignored, as it will use the space of the current window regardless.
  • rows/cols: The size parameter is not very granular, since you might want different sizes based on the window orientation. In that case, you can pass the same kinds of identifiers for rows and/or cols as you can for size (except for 'auto' which would not make sense).
  • complete: Add custom completion. This maps basically one to one to the -complete option of commands, so pass it exactly as you would there.
  • tabnew: Always run cmd in a new tab. Default 0.
  • curwin: Always run cmd in the current window. Default 0.
  • term_args: Finally, a catch all. This should be a dict, and anything you pass here will be added to the term_start options via extend(). Have a look at :h term_start for the various options supported.


Commands created via determined#command

Once the command is created, you can call it with additional string parameters to pass to term_start. For example, if you created a command like this:

call determined#command('Npm', 'npm')

You can invoke it in any of the following ways:

  • :Npm install foo
  • :Npm uninstall foo
  • :Npm test
  • :Npm run custom-script
  • :Npm ls
  • :Npm install -D grunt grunt-contrib-copy grunt-contrib-uglify grunt-contrib-concat
  • etc. etc.

For completeness, determined#command also creates E and T versions for opening the command in a new tab or in the current window (even though you can configure this per command via args. So in the case above, the following commands are also created:

  • :ENpm - Run the npm command in the current window.
  • :TNpm - Run the npm command in a new tabpage.

Additional commands

vim-determined does include a few built in commands.

  • :TermClose[!] - Close all open term windows (where the job is not currently running). When <bang> is included, stop running jobs and close those terms too.
  • :Term[!] - A generic wrapper for call term_start with commands that you haven't created via determined#command. For instance, I don't use find very often, so I'm not creating a command for it with determined#command, but if I need to use it in vim, I can run :Term find . -name somefile.ext. This uses the default arguments to term_start, which means it will open in a horizontal split. Use <bang> to open it in a vertical split.
  • :ETerm - Like :Term, but in the current window.
  • :TTerm - Like :Term, but in a new tabpage.
  • :VTerm - Like :Term, but in a vertical split . . . so this is identical to :Term! but is included for completeness.
  • :STerm - Synonymous with :Term but included for completeness.


Within a terminal window opened by vim-determined, <C-r> is mapped to rerun the original command. Hopefully, the symmetry is obvious. <C-r> is for "redo," but terminals are not modifiable, so I'm repurposing that keybinding to have specialized meaning.


I always try to be open to suggestions, but I do still have opinions about what this should and should not be so . . . it never hurts to ask before investing a lot of time on a patch.



You can’t perform that action at this time.