If you change the code, you need to run:

pip2 install .
pip3 install .

for the changes to have effect. Alternatively you could execute Neovim with the $PYTHONPATH environment variable:

PYTHONPATH=/path/to/pynvim nvim

But note this is not completely reliable, as installed packages can appear before $PYTHONPATH in the python search path.

You need to rerun this command if you have changed the code, in order for Neovim to use it for the plugin host.

To run the tests execute:

python -m pytest

This will run the tests in an embedded instance of Neovim, with the current directory added to sys.path.

If you want to test a different version than nvim in $PATH use:

NVIM_CHILD_ARGV='["/path/to/nvim", "-u", "NONE", "--embed", "--headless"]' pytest

Alternatively, if you want to see the state of nvim, you could use:

export NVIM_LISTEN_ADDRESS=/tmp/nvimtest
xterm -e "nvim -u NONE"&
python -m pytest

But note you need to restart Neovim every time you run the tests! Substitute your favorite terminal emulator for xterm.


You can run the plugin host in Neovim with logging enabled to debug errors:


As more than one Python host process might be started, the log filenames take the pattern logfile_pyX_KIND where X is the major python version (2 or 3) and KIND is either “rplugin” or “script” (for the :python[3] script interface).

If the host cannot start at all, the error could be found in ~/.nvimlog if nvim was compiled with logging.

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 Neovim 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 Neovim (note that the API is similar to the one exposed by the python-vim bridge):

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

The tests can be consulted for more examples.