Happy Thanksgiving! Get 40% off Practical Vim, 2nd edition (and all other titles from Pragmatic Bookshelf).

Learn more

Happy Thanksgiving! Get 40% off Practical Vim, 2nd edition (and all other titles from Pragmatic Bookshelf).

Fugitive.vim - a complement to command line git


Run time:

The fugitive plugin, by Tim Pope, is a git wrapper for Vim. It complements the command line interface to git, but doesn’t aim to replace it. In this episode, we’ll see how some of fugitive’s commands can streamline your workflow.

This is the first of a five part series on fugitive.


Using the :Git command, you can run any arbitrary git command from inside Vim. I prefer to switch to the shell for anything that generates a log of output, such as git log for example. But commands that generate little or no output are fair game for running from inside Vim (:Git checkout -b experimental for example).

At Vim’s command line, the % symbol has a special meaning: it expands to the full path of the current file. You can use this to run any git command that expects a filepath as an argument, making the command act on the current file. But fugitive also provides a few convenience methods, some of which are summarized in this table:

git fugitive action
:Git add % :Gwrite Stage the current file to the index
:Git checkout % :Gread Revert current file to last checked in version
:Git rm % :Gremove Delete the current file and the corresponding Vim buffer
:Git mv % :Gmove Rename the current file and the corresponding Vim buffer

The :Gcommit command opens up a commit window in a split window. One advantage to using this, rather than running git commit in the shell, is that you can use Vim’s keyword autocompletion when composing your commit message.

The :Gblame command opens a vertically split window containing annotations for each line of the file: the last commit reference, with author and timestamp. The split windows are bound, so that when you scroll one, the other window will follow.

Further Reading


Level-up your Vim


Boost your productivity with a Vim training class. Join a public class, or book a private session for your team.

Drew hosted a private Vim session for the shopify team that was one of the best workshops I have ever attended.

John Duff, Director of Engineering at Shopify


Make yourself a faster and more efficient developer with the help of these publications, including Practical Vim (Pragmatic Bookshelf 2012), which has over 50 five-star reviews on Amazon.

After reading it, I've switched to vim as my default editor on a daily basis with no regrets. ★★★★★

Javier Collado

Learn to use Vim efficiently in your Ruby projects

In association with Thoughtbot, one of the most well respected Rails consultancies in the world, I've produced a series of screencasts on how to make navigating your Ruby projects with Vim ultra-efficient. Along the way, you’ll also learn how to make Ruby blocks a first-class text object in Vim. This lets you edit Ruby code at a higher level of abstraction. Available to buy from Thoughtbot..