vim-plug: A beautiful and minimalist vim plugin manager for Unix and Linux users

Posted on in Categories Command Line Hacks, Programming last updated March 8, 2017

A vim plugin manager is a must for any die-hard vim user. You can find a few option available out there. My personal favorite is vim-plug which is a beautiful and minimalist plugin for vim. Let us see how to install and use this plugin on Linux or Unix-like system.

Installation

Naturally, you must have vim installed on your system. For demo purpose I am using Ubuntu and MacOS. Simple download plug.vim and put it in the “autoload” directory:
$ mkdir ~/.vim/autoload/
$ cd ~/.vim/autoload/

Let us grab the plug.vim either using wget command or curl command:
$ wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/junegunn/vim-plug/master/plug.vim
OR
$ curl -O https://raw.githubusercontent.com/junegunn/vim-plug/master/plug.vim

How do I configure vim-plug?

The syntax is as follows in ~/.vimrc:

" Specify a directory for plugins 
call plug#begin('~/.vim/plugged')
 
" Any valid git URL is allowed for plugin
Plug 'valid git URL'
 
" Shorthand notation for plugin
Plug 'foo/bar'
 
" Initialize plugin system
call plug#end()

Example

Let us say you want to use a vim plugin named ansible-vim for syntax highlighting Ansible’s common filetypes. You need to append the following in your ~/.vimrc file:

call plug#begin('~/.vim/plugged')
Plug 'pearofducks/ansible-vim'
call plug#end()

Save and close the file.

Install ansible-vim plugin

Start the text editor:
$ vim
To see status type type:

:PlugStatus

To install ansible-vim type:

:PlugInstall

Sample session:

Animated gif 01: Vim-plug in action
Animated gif 01: Vim-plug in action

To update plugins type:
:PlugUpdate
To ugrade vim-plug itself type:
:PlugUpgrade
Of course, if you are happy with vundle or pathogen, then no need to switch. However, I liked this one better. For more information see the official GitHub repo.

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. He has worked with global clients and in various industries, including IT, education, defense and space research, and the nonprofit sector. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+.

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