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Cover image for Vim-Python-VirtualEnv: A Plugin to manage Virtual Environments in Python
Sanskar Jethi
Sanskar Jethi

Posted on • Updated on

Vim-Python-VirtualEnv: A Plugin to manage Virtual Environments in Python

I love Vim ❤️ , especially NeoVim. I can write pages about why you should love it too.

Python, being my daily driver makes the Vim Integration a match made in heaven ❤️

There is one thing that annoyed me when I was working with Vim and Python. The virtualenvs.

Since I don't want my python environment to be like one of the infected monsters from The Last of Us, I use venvs for my projects. You should use them too!

However, when if I boot my NeoVim from the Venv activated session, NeoVim did not recognize the Venv specific imports.
Some extensions also conflicted with the between the local and the global python config.

Like this:
Screenshot 2020-11-04 at 1.01.54 PM

I tried looking for many extensions that would handle it automatically for me, but all of them wanted me to manually activate the venvs from inside the Vim session.

I wouldn't have become a software developer if I wanted to do everything myself, right? *cries internally*

This is when I decided to write the plugin myself.

The Process:

With all the learning curves associated with Vim, a plugin always felt like the magic package which only TPope curated.

But surprisingly, writing a plugin is a fairly simple process.

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Vim has certain predefined files/folders which it looks out for while executing a plugin. You need to have a plugins folder and a README file. Vim will automatically execute all the files ending with *.vim in the Plugin directory.

That's it!


The goal of this plugin was to see add the venv configs in the vim session if the Virtual Environment was enabled for the terminal session.

This in theory is fairly simple.

  1. Check if the venv is activated.
  2. Update the venv config from the vim.rc or the init.vim

While reading the vim plugin docs, I found out that we can write vim plugins in Python too. This made it even better. 🤤

Here is the code for the entire plugin:

python3 << EOF
import os
import subprocess

if "VIRTUAL_ENV" in os.environ:
    project_base_dir = os.environ["VIRTUAL_ENV"]
    script = os.path.join(project_base_dir, "bin/activate")
    pipe = subprocess.Popen(". %s; env" % script, stdout=subprocess.PIPE, shell=True)
    output = pipe.communicate()[0].decode('utf8').splitlines()
    env = dict((line.split("=", 1) for line in output))

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This code searches for the activate shell script which is commonly found in the venv/bin, executes it, and updates the config in the session.

That's it!

  • You can install the extension using Vim Plug or any other plugin manager, e.g.
    Plug 'sansyrox/vim-python-virtualenv'
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That's all folks!

Any feedback is much appreciated! ✨

Connect with me on twitter :)

Top comments (2)

collinsmarra profile image

This actually worked <3

sansyrox profile image
Sanskar Jethi

I am glad you liked it :D