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Open file in already running vim from elsewhere

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created 2002 · complexity basic · author T. Zellerin · version 6.0

If you want to edit a new file in an already-running Vim, instead of launching another instance, you may use --remote argument:

gvim first_file
gvim --remote +split first_file

It requires X windows (but works in terminal version of Vim there too) or MS Windows and built-in client-server mechanism. If there are several instances of vim already running, you may choose to which you talk using --servername



Just wanted to add to this that there are built-in functions available that let you do the same thing from within running Vim session. It is cool, if you want some sample code, see the following script: script#180

I have the following alias in shell initialization script file (~/.bashrc)

alias gvir="gvim --remote"

Then, it is very convenient for me to open a file in an existing gvim window.

$ gvir new_file

If you are using some buffer manager like script#159 you might find the following bash alias commands useful to start vim:

alias gvdev=" gvim --servername foo --remote"
alias gvlib=" gvim --servername bar --remote"

You can use different names, etc, but the gist of it is that you can open different files into one or many windows. Use gvdev to open your actual scripts and gvlib to open config, headers, libraries, etc.

You don't have to worry about pre-starting a server...if it's not found, gvim will start with that name anyway.

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