A modern Neovim configuration with full battery for Python, Lua, C++, Markdown, LaTeX, and more...

This project is maintained by jdhao

This doc summarizes how to install and use this configuration in detail.


Terminal emulators

Which terminal emulator we choose to use greatly affects the appearance and features of Nvim. Since Nvim supports true colors, terminals that support true colors are preferred. For a list of terminals that support true colors, see here.

For macOS, we can use kitty, iterm2, wezterm or Alacritty.

If you ssh to Linux server on Windows, I recommend wsltty and Cygwin, both of them use mintty as the terminal emulator. For the latest version of Windows 10, you can also try Windows Terminal.

Patched Fonts

Since statusline or file explorer plugins often use Unicode symbols not available in normal font, we need to install a patched font from the nerd-fonts project.

Automatic installation

Automatic Installation for Linux

To set up a workable Nvim environment on Linux, I use a bash script to automatically install necessary dependencies, Nvim itself and configs.

Note that the variable PYTHON_INSTALLED, SYSTEM_PYTHON and ADD_TO_SYSTEM_PATH in the script should be set properly based on your environment.

Automatic installation for Windows

Run the script nvim_setup_windows.ps1 in PowerShell with Administrator rights:


Manual install

There are a few dependencies if we want to use Nvim for efficient editing and development work.



A lot of Nvim plugins are mainly written in Python, so we must install Python 3. The easiest way to install is via Anaconda or Miniconda.

After installation, make sure that you can run python --version, and that the output should be Python 3.x.


Nvim relies on pynvim to communicate with plugins that utilize its Python binding. Pynvim is required by plugins such as wilder.nvim.

pip install -U pynvim


python-lsp-server (pylsp) is a Python Language Server for completion, linting, go to definition, etc.

pip install 'python-lsp-server[all]' pylsp-mypy python-lsp-isort python-lsp-black

Note the executable for pylsp is also named pylsp. You need to set its PATH correctly. If you use pip from Anaconda, the executable path may be something like $CONDA_ROOT/bin/pylsp. For native python, the path for pylsp may be like $HOME/.local/bin/pylsp


We need to install node.js from here. For Linux, you can use the following script:

# Ref: https://johnpapa.net/node-and-npm-without-sudo/
wget https://nodejs.org/dist/v14.15.4/node-v14.15.4-linux-x64.tar.xz

mkdir -p $HOME/tools
# extract node to a custom directory, the directory should exist.
tar xvf node-v14.15.4-linux-x64.tar.xz --directory=$HOME/tools

Then add the following config to .bash_profile or .zshrc

export PATH="$HOME/tools/node-v14.15.4-linux-x64/bin:$PATH"

Source the file:

source ~/.bash_profile
# source ~/.zshrc


vim-language-server provides completion for vim script. We can install vim-language-server globally:

npm install -g vim-language-server

vim-language-server is installed in the same directory as the node executable.


Git is required by plugin manager lazy.nvim and other git-related plugins.

For Linux and macOS, Git is usually pre-installed. The version of Git on the Linux system may be too old so that plugins may break. Check here on how to install and set up the latest version of Git. For Windows, install Git for Windows and make sure you can run git from command line.


In order to use tags related plugins such as vista.vim, we need to install a ctags distribution. Universal-ctags is preferred.

To install it on Linux, we need to build it from source. See here for the details. To install ctags on macOS, use Homebrew:

brew install ctags

To install it Windows, use chocolatey or scoop

choco install universal-ctags

# scoop bucket add extras
# scoop install universal-ctags

Set its PATH properly and make sure you can run ctags from command line.


Ripgrep, aka, rg, is a fast grepping tool available for both Linux, Windows and macOS. It is used by several searching plugins.

For Windows and macOS, we can install it via chocolatey and homebrew respectively. For Linux, we can download the binary release and install it.

Set its PATH properly and make sure you can run rg from command line.


A linter is a tool to check the source code for possible style and syntax issues. Based on the programming languages we use, we may need to install various linters.

Set their PATH properly and make sure you can run pylint, flake8 and vint from command line.

Install Nvim

There are various ways to install Nvim depending on your system. This config is only maintained for the latest nvim stable release.


You can directly download the binary release from here. You can also use the system package manager to install nvim, but that is not reliable since the latest version may not be available.


You may download from nvim release from GitHub and manually extract it.

Another way to install Nvim on Windows is via chocolatey or scoop:

choco install neovim

# via scoop
# scoop bucket add versions
# scoop install neovim


It is recommended to install neovim via Homebrew on macOS. Simply run the following command:

brew install neovim

After installing Nvim, we need to set the path to nvim correctly. Make sure that you can run nvim from the command line after all these setups.

Setting up Nvim

After installing nvim and all the dependencies, we will install plugin managers and set up this config.

How to install this configuration

On Linux and macOS, the directory is ~/.config/nvim. On Windows, the config directory is $HOME/AppData/Local/nvim1. First, we need to remove all the files under the config directory (including dot files), then go to this directory, and run the following command:

git clone --depth=1 https://github.com/jdhao/nvim-config.git .

After that, when we first open nvim, all the plugins will be installed automatically. Since I use quite a lot of plugins (more than 60), it may take some time to install all of them.

  1. Use echo %userprofile% to see where your $HOME is.