Awesome Open Source
Awesome Open Source


This plugin takes the advantage of new apis in Vim 8 (and NeoVim) to enable you to run shell commands in background and read output in the quickfix window in realtime:

  • Easy to use, start your background command by :AsyncRun (just like old ! cmd).
  • Command is done in the background, no need to wait for the entire process to finish.
  • Output are displayed in the quickfix window, errors are matched with errorformat.
  • You can explore the error output immediately or keep working in vim while executing.
  • Ring the bell or play a sound to notify you job finished while you're focusing on editing.
  • Customizable runners and command modifiers brings you dark power of asyncrun.
  • Fast and lightweight, just a single self-contained asyncrun.vim source file.
  • Provide corresponding user experience in vim, neovim, gvim and macvim.

If that doesn't excite you, then perhaps this GIF screen capture below will change your mind.

【README in Chinese | 中文文摣】


  • 2020/02/18 asynctasks uses asyncrun to introduce vscode's task system to vim.
  • 2020/01/21 run command in internal terminal with -mode=term see here.
  • 2018/04/17 AsyncRun now supports command range, try: :%AsyncRun cat.
  • 2018/04/16 better makeprg/grepprg handling, accepts % and $* macros now.
  • 2018/03/11 new option g:asyncrun_open to open quickfix window after job starts.
  • 2017/07/12 new option -raw=1 to use raw output (not match with the errorformat)
  • 2017/06/26 new option -cwd=<root> to change working directory to project root, see here.


Copy asyncrun.vim to your ~/.vim/plugin or use Vundle to install it from skywind3000/asyncrun.vim .


Remember to open vim's quickfix window by :copen (or setting g:asyncrun_open) before invoking AsyncRun, otherwise, you will not see any output.



Async run gcc to compile current file

:AsyncRun gcc % -o %<
:AsyncRun g++ -O3 "%" -o "%<" -lpthread 

This command will run gcc in the background and output to the quickfix window in realtime. Macro '%' stands for filename and '%<' represents filename without extension.

Async run make

:AsyncRun make
:AsyncRun make -f makefile

Remember to open quickfix window by :copen before using AsyncRun command, if you don't open it, you will not see any output.

Grep key word

:AsyncRun! grep -R -n word . 
:AsyncRun! grep -R -n <cword> . 

when ! is included, auto-scroll in quickfix will be disabled. <cword> represents current word under cursor.

Compile go project

:AsyncRun go build "%:p:h"

Macro '%:p:h' stands for current file dir.

Lookup man page

:AsyncRun! man -S 3:2:1 <cword>

Git push

:AsyncRun git push origin master

Setup <F7> to compile file

:noremap <F7> :AsyncRun gcc "%" -o "%<" <cr> 

File name may contain spaces, therefore, it's safe to quote them.

Run a python script

:AsyncRun -raw python %

New option -raw will display the raw output (without matching to errorformat), you need the latest AsyncRun (after 1.3.13) to use this option. Remember to put let $PYTHONUNBUFFERED=1 in your .vimrc to disable python stdout buffering, see here.

A good assistant to asyncrun

asynctasks.vim a plugin built upon asyncrun, an easy way to use asyncrun. It allows you to manage your building, testing and deploying tasks in a global or project local configuration, and run them by their names.


There are two vim commands: :AsyncRun and :AsyncStop to control async jobs.

AsyncRun - Run shell command

:AsyncRun[!] [options] {cmd} ...

run shell command in background and output to quickfix. when ! is included, auto-scroll in quickfix will be disabled. Parameters are splited by space, if a parameter contains space, it should be quoted or escaped as backslash + space (unix only).

Parameters accept macros start with '%', '#' or '<' :

%:p     - File name of current buffer with full path
%:t     - File name of current buffer without path
%:p:h   - File path of current buffer without file name
%:e     - File extension of current buffer
%:t:r   - File name of current buffer without path and extension
%       - File name relativize to current directory
%:h:.   - File path relativize to current directory
<cwd>   - Current directory
<cword> - Current word under cursor
<cfile> - Current file name under cursor
<root>  - Project root directory

Environment variables are set before executing:

$VIM_FILEPATH  - File name of current buffer with full path
$VIM_FILENAME  - File name of current buffer without path
$VIM_FILEDIR   - Full path of current buffer without the file name
$VIM_FILEEXT   - File extension of current buffer
$VIM_FILENOEXT - File name of current buffer without path and extension
$VIM_PATHNOEXT - Current file name with full path but without extension
$VIM_CWD       - Current directory
$VIM_RELDIR    - File path relativize to current directory
$VIM_RELNAME   - File name relativize to current directory 
$VIM_ROOT      - Project root directory
$VIM_CWORD     - Current word under cursor
$VIM_CFILE     - Current filename under cursor
$VIM_GUI       - Is running under gui ?
$VIM_VERSION   - Value of v:version
$VIM_COLUMNS   - How many columns in vim's screen
$VIM_LINES     - How many lines in vim's screen
$VIM_SVRNAME   - Value of v:servername for +clientserver usage 

These environment variables wrapped by $(...) (eg. $(VIM_FILENAME)) will also be expanded in the parameters. Macro $(VIM_ROOT) and <root> (new in version 1.3.12) indicate the Project Root of the current file.

There can be some options before your [cmd]:

Option Default Value Description
-mode=? "async" specify how to run the command as -mode=?, available modes are "async" (default), "bang" (with ! command) and "terminal" (in internal terminal), see running modes for details.
-cwd=? unset initial directory (use current directory if unset), for example use -cwd=<root> to run commands in project root directory, or -cwd=$(VIM_FILEDIR) to run commands in current buffer's parent directory.
-save=? 0 use -save=1 to save current file, -save=2 to save all modified files before executing.
-program=? unset set to make to use &makeprg, grep to use &grepprt and wsl to execute commands in WSL (windows 10), see command modifiers.
-post=? unset vimscript to exec after job finished, spaces must be escaped to '\ '
-auto=? unset event name to trigger QuickFixCmdPre/QuickFixCmdPost [name] autocmd.
-raw unset use raw output if provided, and &errorformat will be ignored.
-strip unset remove the heading/trailing messages if provided (omit command and "[Finished in ...]" message).
-pos=? "bottom" When using internal terminal with -mode=term, -pos is used to specify where to split the terminal window, it can be one of "tab", "curwin", "top", "bottom", "left", "right" and "external". And you can customize new runners and pass runner's name to -pos option.
-rows=num 0 When using a horizontal split terminal, this value represents the height of terminal window.
-cols=num 0 When using a vertical split terminal, this value represents the width of terminal window.
-errorformat=? unset errorformat for error matching, if it is unprovided, use current &errorformat value. Beware that % needs to be escaped into \%.
-focus=? 1 set to 0 to prevent focus changing when -mode=term
-hidden=? 0 set to 1 to setup bufhidden to hide for internal terminal
-silent unset provide -silent to prevent open quickfix window (will override g:asyncrun_open temporarily)

All options must start with a minus and position before [cmd]. Since no shell command string starts with a minus. So they can be distinguished from shell command easily without any ambiguity.

Don't worry if you do have a shell command starting with '-', Just put a placeholder @ before your command to tell asyncrun explicitly: "stop parsing options now, the following string is all my command".

AsyncStop - Stop the running job


stop the running job, when "!" is included, job will be stopped by signal KILL.

Function (API)

Function form is convenient for vimscript:

:call asyncrun#run(bang, opts, command)


  • bang: an empty string or a single bang character "!", same as bang sign in AsyncRun!.
  • opts: a dictionary contains: mode, cwd, raw and errorformat etc.
  • command: the shell command you want to execute.


  • g:asyncrun_exit - script will be executed after finished.
  • g:asyncrun_bell - non-zero to ring a bell after finished.
  • g:asyncrun_mode - specify how to run your command, see here.
  • g:asyncrun_encs - set shell encoding if it's different from &encoding, see encoding.
  • g:asyncrun_trim - non-zero to trim the empty lines in the quickfix window.
  • g:asyncrun_auto - event name to trigger QuickFixCmdPre/QuickFixCmdPost, see FAQ.
  • g:asyncrun_open - above zero to open quickfix window at given height after command starts.
  • g:asyncrun_save - non-zero to save current(1) or all(2) modified buffer(s) before executing.
  • g:asyncrun_timer - how many messages should be inserted into quickfix every 100ms interval.
  • g:asyncrun_wrapper - enable to setup a command prefix.
  • g:asyncrun_stdin - non-zero to enable stdin (useful for cmake on windows).

For more information of above options, please visit option details.


  • g:asyncrun_code - exit code
  • g:asyncrun_status - 'running', 'success' or 'failure'


autocmd User AsyncRunPre   - triggered before executing
autocmd User AsyncRunStart - triggered after starting successfully
autocmd User AsyncRunStop  - triggered when job finished

Note, AsyncRunPre is always likely to be invoked, but AsyncRunStart and AsyncRunStop will only be invoked if the job starts successfully.

When previous job is still running or vim job slot is full, AsyncRun may fail. In this circumstance, AsyncRunPre will be invoked but AsyncRunStart and AsyncRunStop will have no chance to trigger.

Project Root

Vim is lack of project management, as files usually belong to projects, you can do nothing to the project if you don't have any information about where the project locates. Inspired by CtrlP, this feature (new in version 1.3.12) is very useful when you've something to do with the whole project.

Macro <root> or $(VIM_ROOT) in the command line or in the -cwd option will be expanded as the Project Root Directory of the current file:

:AsyncRun make
:AsyncRun -cwd=<root> make

The first make will run in the vim's current directory (which :pwd returns), while the second one will run in the project root directory of current file. This feature is very useful when you have something (make / grep) to do with the whole project.

The project root is the nearest ancestor directory of the current file which contains one of these directories or files: .svn, .git, .hg, .root or .project. If none of the parent directories contains these root markers, the directory of the current file is used as the project root. The root markers can also be configurated, see Project Root.

Running modes

The default behavior is to run async command and output to quickfix window. However there is a -mode=? option can allow you specify how to run your command:

mode description
async default behavior, run async command and output to quickfix window
bang same as !
term open a reusable internal terminal window and run your command

For more information, please see here.

Internal Terminal

AsyncRun is capable to run commands in Vim/NeoVim's internal terminal with the -mode=term option. You can specify how to open the terminal window by -pos=?, available positions are:

  • -pos=tab: open the terminal in a new tab.
  • -pos=curwin: open the terminal in the current window.
  • -pos=top: open the terminal above the current window.
  • -pos=bottom: open the terminal below the current window.
  • -pos=left: open the terminal on the left side.
  • -pos=right: open the terminal on the right side.
  • -pos=hide: don't open a window, run in background.
  • -pos=external: use an external terminal (Windows only).


:AsyncRun -mode=term -pos=tab python "$(VIM_FILEPATH)"
:AsyncRun -mode=term -pos=bottom -rows=10 python "$(VIM_FILEPATH)"
:AsyncRun -mode=term -pos=right -cols=80 python "$(VIM_FILEPATH)"
:AsyncRun -mode=term -pos=curwin python "$(VIM_FILEPATH)"
:AsyncRun -mode=term -pos=curwin -hidden python "$(VIM_FILEPATH)"

The -pos field accepts an uppercase TAB, to create tab on the left of current tab. When using internal terminal in a split window, AsyncRun will firstly reuse a finished previous terminal window if it exists, if not, a new terminal window will be created in given position. Tab based terminal can also be reusable if -reuse is provided.

Except the quickfix and internal terminal, AsyncRun is capable to run command in another tmux split or a new gnome-terminal window/tab with the advantage of customizable runners.

Terminal Name

There can be many commands running in the internal terminal, you can specify a name for each of them and receive it in g:asyncrun_name:

:AsyncRun -mode=term -pos=hide -name=123 -post=echo\ g:asyncrun_name  ls -la

When this process finished, script defined in -post will be executed and your command name will display by echo. Another variable g:asyncrun_code stores exit code.

Quickfix window

AsyncRun displays its output in quickfix window, so if you don't use :copen {height} to open quickfix window, you won't see any output. For convenience there is an option g:asyncrun_open for you:

:let g:asyncrun_open = 8

Setting g:asyncrun_open to 8 will open quickfix window automatically at 8 lines height after command starts.

Range support

AsyncRun can take a range of lines in the current buffer as command's stdin after version 1.3.27. You can try:

:%AsyncRun cat

the whole buffer will be the input of command cat. you will see the content of your current buffer will be output to the quickfix window.

:10,20AsyncRun python

text between line 10-20 will be taken as the stdin of python. code in that range will be executed by python and the output will display in the quickfix window.

:'<,'>AsyncRun -raw perl

The visual selection (line-wise) will be taken as stdin.

Customize Runner

You may want your command run in a tmux split or a new gnome-terminal window, for this reason, AsyncRun allows you create new runners:

function! MyRunner(opts)
    echo "command to run is: " . a:opts.cmd

let g:asyncrun_runner = get(g:, 'asyncrun_runner', {})
let g:asyncrun_runner.test = function('MyRunner')

Then try:

:AsyncRun -mode=term -pos=test ls -la $(VIM_FILEDIR)

When -mode is term and -pos can used to represent runner name.

Runner function has only one argument: opts, it contains the options extracted from :AsyncRun command line, and opts.cmd stores current command.

For examples like tmux, gnome-terminal and other runners please visit project wiki: customize runner.

Command Modifier

Command modifiers can be used to change your command before running:

let g:asyncrun_program = get(g:, 'asyncrun_program', {})
let g:asyncrun_program.nice = { opts -> 'nice -5' . opts.cmd }

When you are using:

:AsyncRun -program=nice ls -la

The command ls -la will be changed into nice -5 ls -la.

The -program=msys, -program=wsl are both implemented as a new command modifier it changes command ls into:

c:\windows\sysnative\wsl.exe ls

And replace any thing like $(WSL_FILENAME) and $(WSL_FILEPATH) in your command.


Vim 7.4.1829 is minimal version to support async mode. If you are use older versions, g:asyncrun_mode will fall back from 0/async to 1/sync. NeoVim 0.1.4 or later is also supported.

Recommend to use Vim 8.0 or later.

Cooperate with vim-fugitive:

asyncrun.vim can cooperate with vim-fugitive, see here.

Language Tips

More Topics

Don't forget to read the Frequently Asked Questions.

Cooperate with other Plugins

Name Description
vim-fugitive perfect cooperation, asyncrun gets Gfetch/Gpush running in background
errormarker perfect cooperation, errormarker will display the signs on the error or warning lines
airline very well, airline will display status of background jobs
sprint nice plugin who uses asyncrun to provide an IDE's run button to runs your code
netrw netrw can save remote files on background now. Experimental, take your own risk

See: Cooperate with famous plugins


  • 2.6.2 (2020-03-08): change runner's argument from string to dict.
  • 2.6.0 (2020-03-07): -post can be used in terminal mode.
  • 2.5.5 (2020-03-07): "-mode=term -pos=tab" obeys "-focus=0" now.
  • 2.5.3 (2020-03-02): new -silent option to prevent open quickfix, add command modifier.
  • 2.5.0 (2020-02-29): refactor, remove useless codes, new command modifier g:asyncrun_program.
  • 2.4.8 (2020-02-21): run with :execute if command is starting with colon.
  • 2.4.7 (2020-02-21): new customizable runners by g:asyncrun_runner, see customize runner.
  • 2.4.0 (2020-02-10): fixed internal terminal issue in msys.
  • 2.3.0 (2020-02-10): new mode aliases, minor issue fix.
  • 2.2.9 (2020-02-10): new terminal mode options: -safe=1, -listed=0 and -reuse.
  • 2.2.6 (2020-02-06): new: parameter -hidden when using -mode=term to set bufhidden to hidden.
  • 2.2.5 (2020-02-05): more safe to start a terminal.
  • 2.2.4 (2020-02-05): exit when starting terminal failed in current window with -pos=curwin.
  • 2.2.3 (2020-02-05): new -program=wsl to run command in wsl (windows 10 only).
  • 2.2.2 (2020-02-05): new -pos=curwin to open terminal in current window.
  • 2.2.1 (2020-01-20): set noreletivenumber for terminal window.
  • 2.2.0 (2020-01-18): new -focus=0 option for -mode=term to prevent focus change.
  • 2.1.9 (2020-01-12): polish -mode=term, omit number and signcolunm in terminal.
  • 2.1.8 (2020-01-11): new options errorformat in asyncrun#run(...).
  • 2.1.4 (2020-01-09): correct command encoding on windows and fixed minor issues.
  • 2.1.0 (2020-01-09): new mode -mode=term to run command in a reusable terminal window.
  • 2.0.8 (2019-04-28): handle tcd (introduced in 8.1.1218). use grepformat when -program=grep.
  • 2.0.7 (2019-01-27): restore g:asyncrun_stdin because rg will break if stdin is pipe.
  • 2.0.6 (2019-01-26): more adaptive to handle stdin and remove 'g:asyncrun_stdin'
  • 2.0.5 (2019-01-14): enable stdin by default on windows (fix cmake stdin warning on windows).
  • 2.0.4 (2019-01-13): new option g:asyncrun_stdin, set to 1 to enable stdin .
  • 2.0.3 (2019-01-04): new macro $VIM_PATHNOEXT (by @PietroPate)
  • 2.0.2 (2018-12-25): new -strip and -append option to control quickfix (by @bennyyip)
  • 2.0.1 (2018-04-29): new option g:asyncrun_save to save files.
  • 2.0.0 (2018-04-27): improve neovim compatability, handle tcd command in neovim.
  • 1.3.27 (2018-04-17): AsyncRun now supports range, try: :%AsyncRun cat
  • 1.3.26 (2018-04-16): new option g:asyncrun_wrapper to enable setup a command prefix
  • 1.3.25 (2018-04-16): handle makeprg/grepprg correctly, accept % and $* macros. close #96 #84 and #35
  • 1.3.24 (2018-04-13): remove trailing ^M on windows.
  • 1.3.23 (2018-04-03): back compatible to vim 7.3, can fall back to mode 1 in old vim.
  • 1.3.22 (2018-03-11): new option g:asyncrun_open to open quickfix window automatically at given height.
  • 1.3.21 (2018-03-02): fixed: float point reltime issues
  • 1.3.20 (2018-02-08): fixed: Incorrect background job status (@antoinemadec)
  • 1.3.19 (2017-12-13): new option g:asyncrun_skip to skip specific autocmd.
  • 1.3.18 (2017-12-12): fixed: windo breaks commands (especially in neovim).
  • 1.3.17 (2017-08-06): fixed: process hang when mode is 5.
  • 1.3.16 (2017-08-05): fixed: g:asyncrun_mode issue (Joel Taylor)
  • 1.3.15 (2017-07-30): fixed: remove trailing new line in neovim.
  • 1.3.14 (2017-07-27): improve asyncrun#get_root(), allow user indicate the rootmarkers
  • 1.3.13 (2017-07-12): new option (-raw) to use raw output (not match with the errorformat).
  • 1.3.12 (2017-06-25): new macro <root> or $(VIM_ROOT) to indicate project root directory.
  • 1.3.11 (2017-05-19): new option (-save=2) to save all modified files.
  • 1.3.10 (2017-05-04): remove trailing ^M in NeoVim 2.0 on windows
  • 1.3.9 (2016-12-23): minor bugs fixed, improve performance and compatibility.
  • 1.3.8 (2016-11-17): new autocmd AsyncRunPre/AsyncRunStart/AsyncRunStop, fixed cmd line window conflict.
  • 1.3.7 (2016-11-13): new option 'g:asyncrun_timer' to prevent gui freeze by massive output.
  • 1.3.6 (2016-11-08): improve performance in quickfix_toggle, fixed small issue in bell ringing.
  • 1.3.5 (2016-11-02): new option "g:asyncrun_auto" to trigger QuickFixCmdPre/QuickFixCmdPost.
  • 1.3.4 (2016-10-28): new option "g:asyncrun_local" to use local value of errorformat rather the global value.
  • 1.3.3 (2016-10-21): prevent job who reads stdin from getting hanging, fixed an issue in fast exiting jobs.
  • 1.3.2 (2016-10-19): new "-post" option to run a vimscript after the job finished
  • 1.3.1 (2016-10-18): fixed few issues of arguments passing in different modes
  • 1.3.0 (2016-10-17): add support to neovim, better CJK characters handling.
  • 1.2.0 (2016-10-16): refactor, correct arguments parsing, cmd options and &makeprg supports
  • 1.1.1 (2016-10-13): use the vim native &shell and &shellcmdflag config to execute commands.
  • 1.1.0 (2016-10-12): quickfix window scroll only if cursor is on the last line
  • 1.0.3 (2016-10-10): reduce quickfix output latency.
  • 1.0.2 (2016-10-09): fixed an issue in replacing macros in parameters.
  • 1.0.1 (2016-10-07): Add a convenient way to toggle quickfix window (asyncrun#quickfix_toggle)
  • 1.0.0 (2016-09-21): can fall back to sync mode to compatible older vim versions.
  • 0.0.3 (2016-09-15): new arguments now accept environment variables wrapped by $(...)
  • 0.0.2 (2016-09-12): some improvements and more documents for a tiny tutorial.
  • 0.0.1 (2016-09-08): improve arguments parsing
  • 0.0.0 (2016-08-24): initial version


Trying best to provide the most simply and convenience experience in the asynchronous-jobs.

Author: skywind3000 Please vote it if you like it:

Get A Weekly Email With Trending Projects For These Topics
No Spam. Unsubscribe easily at any time.
vim-script (1,195)Β 
vim (762)Β 
neovim (234)Β 
asynchronous (206)Β 
vim-plugin (177)Β 
build (116)Β 
neovim-plugin (39)Β 
make (37)Β 
dispatch (16)Β 

Find Open Source By Browsing 7,000 Topics Across 59 Categories