Software & AppsOperating SystemLinux

Installing Neovim on Ubuntu

Ubuntu 19

Neovim is a highly configurable text editor built to enable efficient text editing. It is an extension of Vim that includes many new features, including built-in terminal support, asynchronous plugin management, and improved GUI. This article will guide you through the steps to install Neovim on Ubuntu.

Quick Answer

To install Neovim on Ubuntu, you have several options. You can install it from the universe repository using the command sudo apt install neovim, or you can compile it from source by following the steps outlined in the article. Alternatively, you can install it from the PPA repository or use the standalone AppImage. Remember to install the necessary Python modules if you plan to use them with Neovim.

Table of Contents

  1. Installing from Universe Repository
  2. Installing from Source
  3. Installing from PPA Repository
  4. Installing using an AppImage
  5. Installing Python Modules
  6. Conclusion

Installing from Universe Repository

The easiest method to install Neovim is from the universe repository. Run the following command in your terminal:

sudo apt install neovim

The sudo command is used to run the following command as a superuser. apt is a package handling utility in Ubuntu. install is the command to install a new package, and neovim is the package we want to install.

Please note that this method may install an older version of Neovim.

Installing from Source

If you prefer to compile Neovim from source, follow these steps:

  1. Download the master branch from the Neovim GitHub repository.
  2. Install the necessary dependencies by running the command:
sudo apt-get install libtool autoconf automake cmake libncurses5-dev g++

These dependencies are required to build Neovim from source.

  1. Navigate to the root of the project and build Neovim using the following commands:
make cmake
make test

The make command is used to build and install the software.

  1. Finally, run nvim from the /neovim-master/build/bin directory.

Installing from PPA Repository

This method allows you to install Neovim using apt-get. Here are the steps:

  1. Add the Neovim PPA repository by running the command:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:neovim-ppa/unstable

The add-apt-repository command is used to add a new repository to your system.

  1. Update your package list and install Neovim using the following commands:
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install neovim

The update command is used to update the list of available packages and their versions.

Installing using an AppImage

Neovim also provides a standalone AppImage that can be executed on any distribution. To use this method, follow these steps:

  1. Download the AppImage using the command:
curl -LO

The curl command is used to download files from the internet. The -L option tells curl to follow redirects and the -O option tells it to save the downloaded file with the same name as in the URL.

  1. Make the AppImage executable:
chmod u+x nvim.appimage

The chmod command is used to change the permissions of a file. The u+x option tells chmod to give the user (u) execute (x) permissions.

  1. Run Neovim by executing the AppImage:

Please note that the AppImage method does not integrate Neovim with the system.

Installing Python Modules

Remember to install the necessary Python modules if you plan to use them with Neovim. You can do this by running the following command:

sudo apt-get install python-dev python-pip python3-dev python3-pip

These packages are required for Neovim’s Python integration.


In this article, we’ve covered several methods to install Neovim on Ubuntu: from the universe repository, from source, from the PPA repository, and using an AppImage. Choose the method that suits your needs best. Happy coding!

Remember to always keep your system and software up-to-date to ensure you have the latest features and security updates.

Can I use Neovim as a replacement for Vim?

Yes, Neovim is designed to be compatible with Vim, so you can use it as a drop-in replacement for Vim.

How do I exit Neovim?

To exit Neovim, you can use the :q command. If you have unsaved changes, you can use :q! to force quit without saving.

Can I customize Neovim’s appearance?

Yes, Neovim is highly configurable. You can customize its appearance by editing the init.vim file in your ~/.config/nvim/ directory. You can change colorschemes, fonts, and many other settings to suit your preferences.

Can I use Neovim with plugins?

Yes, Neovim has built-in plugin management support. You can install plugins using a plugin manager like vim-plug or dein.vim. Once installed, plugins can enhance Neovim’s functionality with features like code completion, syntax highlighting, and more.

Can I use Neovim in the terminal?

Yes, Neovim has built-in terminal support. You can open a terminal window within Neovim by using the :terminal command. This allows you to run commands, compile code, and perform other terminal operations without leaving Neovim.

Can I use Neovim with Python?

Yes, Neovim has excellent Python integration. You can use Python plugins and scripts within Neovim. Additionally, Neovim provides a Python API that allows you to write plugins in Python to extend its functionality.

How do I update Neovim to the latest version?

To update Neovim to the latest version, you can use the package manager you used to install it. For example, if you installed Neovim using apt, you can run sudo apt-get update followed by sudo apt-get upgrade neovim to update it to the latest version available in the repository.

Can I use Neovim on other operating systems?

Yes, Neovim is cross-platform and can be used on various operating systems, including Linux, macOS, and Windows. The installation process may vary slightly depending on the operating system, but Neovim’s functionality remains the same.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *