I was lurking in the Neovim Gitter room this morning and saw someone drop in a link to this page on projects related to Neovim.

Among the related projects was a Mac OS X GUI called Neovim dot app. Every since my adoption of MacVim I’ve learned to enjoy the practical advantages of using a GUI of vim for everyday use (though I’ve been careful to try not to learn or rely to heavily upon practices that will not work in Terminal vim). Thus I was willing to give this GUI (seemingly the most-developed Mac OS X GUI listed on the related-projects page) a try, even though it’s pretty clear there are a good number of outstanding bugs and issues.


As described in the project’s GitHub readme, I ran the following commands to install the app:

brew tap neovim/neovim
brew tap rogual/neovim-dot-app
brew install --HEAD neovim-dot-app

This installs the program into the following directory: /usr/local/Cellar/neovim-dot-app (which I found by running the helpful Homebrew command: brew info neovim-dot-app).

To use Homebrew to create a link (like a shortcut) to Neovim dot app in you Applications/ directory, run: brew linkapps neovim-dot-app.

Not Working

While I’m pretty sure I installed the app correctly, I’m having some trouble opening files. The most common way that I open files with my text editors is by the command line… more on this below.

I CAN open files with this Neovim app by using Command-o when the app is open.

However, for example, when I drag a .html file onto the Neovim app icon in the Homebrew folder, I get the following error message:

The document "test.html" could not be opened. Neovim cannot open files in the "HTML text" format.

This is an almost identical error to the one described in this issue, and it appears that there’s an open pull request that attempts to address the problem.

As for a command line tool similar to MacVim’s: per issue #146 and PR #127 it looks like the contributors want to use a bash command something like open -a Neovim --args <filename> to open a given file from the command line. This command was flaky for me, though they seem to be working on it. There’s also what looks like a first attempt at a command line tool.

I’ll try to keep an eye on the project and keep my version up-to-date (which I assume I do by running brew reinstall --HEAD neovim-dot-app, similar to how NeoVim itself is upgraded via Homebrew.

Update (11/13/2015)

I just reinstalled neovim dot app by running brew reinstall --HEAD neovim-dot-app. (Note that I did not to run the brew linkapps neovim-dot-app line again.) I’m not sure exactly what version I got upgraded to, it seems much more stable than the version I first installed. Also, I found that it does now come with a command line launcher, invoked by using gnvim from the command line, so for example gnvim . or gnvim <filename>. Seems to work OK!