Oni: Modern Modal Editing - powered by Neovim


License: MIT

Language: TypeScript

Keywords: editing, editor, gui, ide, javascript, neovim, neovim-guis, oni, react, redux, rxjs, text-editor, typescript, ui, vim

alt text

IDE powered by Neovim + React + Electron

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ONI is a NeoVim front-end UI with rich IDE-like UI integration points, drawing inspiration from VSCode, Atom, and LightTable


This repository is under active development, and until 1.0 please consider everything unstable.

Check out Releases for the latest binaries, or Build Oni from source.


ONI brings several IDE-like integrations to NeoVim:



  • Syntax / Compilation Errors



  • Status Bar



Check out Releases for the latest binary.

Windows & OSX releases come with a bundled Neovim release.


  • Download the Oni installer for Windows
  • Once it is downloaded, run the installer. This will only take a minute.
  • By default, Oni is installed under C:\Program Files (x86)\Oni for a 64-bit machine.

You can also find install via a zip archive

You may want to add Oni to your %PATH%, so that from the console, you can open Oni via oni


  • Download Oni for Mac
  • Double-click on the archive to expand
  • Drag Oni.app to the Applications folder


Debian and Ubuntu based distributions

If you do not have Neovim, follow the instructions to Install Neovim and ensure the 'nvim' binary is available. Version 0.2.0 is required..

A tar.gz is also available.

Red Hat based distributions (Fedora, CentOS)

If you do not have Neovim, follow the instructions to Install Neovim and ensure the 'nvim' binary is available. Version 0.2.0 is required..

  • Download the .rpm package
  • Install the package with sudo dnf install <file>.rpm

A tar.gz is also available.


  1. Clone the repository: git clone https://github.com/extr0py/oni.git

  2. Install dependencies by running npm install from the root

  3. Build using npm run build from the root

  4. Run npm link to register the ONI command

  5. Run oni at the command line


The goal of this project is to provide both the full-fledged VIM experience, with no compromises, while pushing forward to enable new scenarios.

  • Modern UX - The VIM experience should not be compromised with poor user experiences that stem from terminal limitations.
  • Rich plugin development - using JavaScript, instead of VimL, allowing deep-language integration.
  • Cross-platform support - across Windows, OS X, and Linux.
  • Batteries included - rich features are available out of the box - minimal setup needed to be productive. TypeScript development is the canonical example, but the hope is that other language providers will be included. Later, an included package manager will make it simple to find and install plugins.
  • Performance - no compromises, VIM is fast, and ONI should be fast too.
  • Ease Learning Curve - without sacrificing the VIM experience

VIM is an incredible tool for manipulating text at the speed of thought. With a composable, modal command language, it is no wonder that VIM usage is still prevalent today even in the realm of modern editors.

However, going from thought to code has some different challenges than going from thought to text. IDEs today provide several benefits that help to reduce cognitive load when writing code, and that benefit is tremendously important - not only in terms of pure coding efficiency and productivity, but also in making the process of writing code enjoyable and fun.

In my journey of learning VIM and increasing proficiency in other editors, I've found there is always a trade-off - either enjoy the autocompletion and IDE features, and compromise on the experience and muscle memory I've built with VIM, or work in VIM and compromise on the rich language functionality we have in an IDE.

The goal of this project is to give an editor that gives the best of both worlds - the power, speed, and flexibility of using VIM for manipulating text, as well as the rich tooling that comes with an IDE.



Code Completion

Code completion is a commonly requested add-on to Vim, and the most common solutions are to use a plugin like YouCompleteMe, deoplete, or AutoComplPop.

These are all great plugins - but they all have the same fundamental issue that they are bounded by the limitations of the Vim terminal UI, and as such, can never be quite up-to-par with new editors that do not have such limitations. In addition, some require an involved installation process. The goal of code completion in ONI is to be able to break free of these restrictions, and provide the same richness that modern editors like Atom or VSCode provide for completion.

Entry point

If a language extension is available for a language, then that language service will be queried as you type, and if there are completions available, those will be presented automatically.

Out of the box, the supported languages for rich completion are JavaScript & TypeScript. There is no special setup required for JavaScript & TypeScript language completion, but you will get best results by having a jsconfig.json or tsconfig.json at the root of your project.. You can use an empty json file with {} to get the rich completion.

  • <C-n> - navigate to next entry in the completion menu
  • <C-p> - navigate to previous entry in the completion menu
  • <Enter> - selected completion item
  • <Esc> - close the completion menu
  • oni.useExternalPopupMenu - if set to true, will render the Vim popupmenu in the same UI as the language extension menu, so that it has a consistent look and feel. If set to false, will fallback to allow Neovim to render the menu.

Fuzzy Finder

Fuzzy Finder is a quick and easy way to switch between files. It's similar in goal to the Ctrl-P plugin, and the built-in functionality editors like VSCode and Atom provide.

Entry point
  • <C-p> - show the Fuzzy Finder menu
  • <C-n> - navigate to next entry in the Fuzzy Finder menu
  • <C-p> - navigate to previous entry in the Fuzzy Finder menu
  • <Enter> - select a Fuzzy Finder item
  • <Esc> - close the Fuzzy Finder menu

By default, Fuzzy Finder uses git ls-files to get the available files in the directory, but if git is not present, it will fallback to a non-git strategy.

The Fuzzy Finder strategy can be configured by the editor.quickOpen.execCommand, and must be a shell command that returns a list of files, separated by newlines.

Command Palette

The Command Palette offers another command-line based interface to Oni.

Entry point
  • <C-P>
  • <C-n> - navigate to next entry in the Command Palette menu
  • <C-p> - navigate to previous entry in the Command Palette menu
  • <Enter> - select a Command Palette item
  • <Esc> - close the Command Palette menu

Currently, the Command Palette includes items from:

  • a few commonly used menu items
  • NPM package.json scripts
  • Plugin commands
  • Launch parameters from the .oni folder

Quick Info

Quick Info gives a quick summary of an identifier when the cursor is held on it. JavaScript and TypeScript is supported out of the box.

Entry point

Leave the cursor hovering over an identifier.

  • oni.quickInfo.enabled - If set to true, the Quick Info feature is enabled. (Default: true)
  • oni.quickInfo.delay - Delay in milliseconds for the Quick Info window to show. (Default: 500)

Status Bar

Oni features a rich status bar, designed as a replacement for vim-powerline and vim-airline.


Oni provides a StatusBar API for adding new items to the status bar.

  • oni.statusbar.enabled - If set to true, the status bar feature is enabled. (Default: true)

Users that are coming from Neovim and have highly customized status bars may want to set oni.statusbar.enabled to false, along with setting the oni.loadInitVim to true and oni.useDefaultConfig to false.


Oni features a buffer tab bar, like many common IDEs. VIM has its own definition of a "Tab", which is really a set of windows and buffers. By default, the tabs in Oni correspond to open files (buffers). You can override this, and show vim-defined tabs, by setting the tabs.showVimTabs setting to true

  • [b and ]b will cycle through buffers, which has the effect of moving through the tabs.
  • tabs.enabled - If set to true, the tabs are visible. (Default: true)
  • tabs.showVimTabs - If set to true, shows vim tabs. Otherwise, shows open buffers. (Default: false. Requires Neovim 0.2.1+)


JavaScript and TypeScript


JavaScript and TypeScript support is enabled out-of-the-box using the TypeScript Standalone Server. No setup and configuration is necessary, however, you will get better results if you use a tsconfig.json or a jsconfig.json to structure your project.

Supported Language features

Completion Goto Definition Formatting Enhanced Syntax Highlighting Quick Info Signature Help Live Evaluation Debugging
+ + + + + + + -



C# language support requires the oni-language-csharp plugin, which provides langauge capabilities for both .NET and Mono.

Follow the installation instructions to get started.

Supported Language features

Completion Goto Definition Formatting Enhanced Syntax Highlighting Quick Info Signature Help Live Evaluation Debugging
+ + - - + - - -



Go language support depends on the go-langserver by SourceGraph, which provides language support for Go. Follow their installation instructions as this language server is not bundled out-of-the-box with Oni.

go-langserver must be available in your PATH. You can override this by setting the golang.langServerCommand configuration value.

Supported Language features

Completion Goto Definition Formatting Enhanced Syntax Highlighting Quick Info Signature Help Live Evaluation Debugging
- + - - + - - -

Known Issues



Python language support depends on pyls by Palantir, which provides language support for Python. Follow their installation instructions as this language server is not bundled out-of-the-box with Oni.

pyls must be available in your PATH. You can override this by setting the python.langServerCommand configuration value.

Supported Language features

Completion Goto Definition Formatting Enhanced Syntax Highlighting Quick Info Signature Help Live Evaluation Debugging
+ + - - + - - -

Known Issues

Reason and OCaml


Reason and OCaml support depends on ocaml-language-server by @freebroccolo.

You will need to build the language server locally, as the currently published NPM package is out-of-date:

  1. Install requirements
  2. git clone https://github.com/freebroccolo/ocaml-language-server.git
  3. cd ocaml-language-server
  4. yarn install
  5. yarn run compile
  6. npm link

NOTE: Once the NPM package is updated with a fix for #22, steps 2-6 can be replaced with npm install -g ocaml-language-server.

Supported Language features

Completion Goto Definition Formatting Enhanced Syntax Highlighting Quick Info Signature Help Live Evaluation Debugging
+ + - + + - - -


ONI is configurable via a 'config.js' located in $HOME/.oni

Here's an example config.js:

module.exports = {
    "oni.useDefaultConfig": true,
    "oni.loadInitVim": true,
    "editor.fontSize": "14px",
    "editor.fontFamily": "Monaco",
    "editor.completions.enabled": true

A few interesting configuration options to set:

  • oni.audio.bellUrl - Set a custom sound effect for the bell (:help bell). The value should be an absolute path to a supported audio file, such as a WAV file.
  • oni.useDefaultConfig - ONI comes with an opinionated default set of plugins for a predictable out-of-box experience. This will be great for newcomes to ONI or Vim, but for Vim/Neovim veterans, this will likely conflict. Set this to false to avoid loading the default config, and to load settings from init.vim instead (If this is false, it implies oni.loadInitVim is true)
  • oni.loadInitVim - This determines whether the user's init.vim is loaded. Use caution when setting this to true and setting oni.useDefaultConfig to true, as there could be conflicts with the default configuration.
  • oni.exclude - Glob pattern of files to exclude from Fuzzy Finder (Ctrl-P). Defaults to ["**/node_modules/**"]
  • oni.hideMenu - (default: false) If true, hide menu bar. When hidden, menu bar can still be displayed with Alt.
  • editor.clipboard.enabled - (default: true) Enables / disables system clipboard integration.
  • editor.fontSize - Font size
  • editor.fontFamily - Font family
  • editor.fontLigatures - (default: true). If true, ligatures are enabled.
  • editor.backgroundImageUrl - specific a custom background image
  • editor.backgroundImageSize - specific a custom background size (cover, contain)
  • editor.scrollBar.visible - (default: true) sets whether the buffer scrollbar is visible
  • environment.additionalPaths - (default: [] on Windows, ['/usr/bin', '/usr/local/bin'] on OSX and Linux). Sets additional paths for binaries. This may be necessary to configure, if using plugins or a Language Server that is not in the default set of runtime paths. Note that depending on where you launch Oni, there may be a different set of runtime paths sent to it - you can always check by opening the developer tools and running process.env.PATH in the console.

See the Config.ts file for other interesting values to set.

In VimL, the g:gui_oni variable will be set to 1, and can be validated with if exists("g:gui_oni") in VimL.

Clipboard Integration

Oni, by default, integrates with the system clipboard. This is controlled by the editor.clipboard.enabled option.

The behavior is as follows:

  • All yanks or deletes will be pushed to the system clipboard.
  • Pressing on Windows/Linux ( on OSX) in visual mode will copy the selected text to the system clipboard.
  • Pressing on Windows/Linux ( on OSX) in insert mode will paste the text from the system clipboard.

If you have custom behavior or functionality bound to <C-c>, <C-v> (or <M-c>, <M-v> on OSX), you may wish to disable this behavior by setting editor.clipboard.enabled to false.



Oni does not require the use of a plugin-manager such as pathogen or vundle (although you may use one if you wish, and this will be necessary if you are sharing a configuration between Neovim and Oni).

Oni will, by default, load all plugins in the $HOME/.oni/plugins directory.

Installing a Vim Plugin

To install a Vim plugin, you just need to create a directory inside $HOME/.oni/plugins.

git clone will usually do this for you, so for example, if you wanted to install this Solarized Theme by lifepillar, you'd run:

NOTE: On Windows, use your home directory (ie, C:/users/<your username) instead of ~

  • cd ~/.oni
  • mkdir -p plugins
  • cd plugins
  • git clone https://github.com/lifepillar/vim-solarized8

This will clone the vim-solarized8 plugin and create an ~/.oni/plugins/vim-solarized8 folder.

Restart Oni, and execute :colorscheme solarized8_light, and enjoy your new theme!

Installing an Oni Plugin

Installing an Oni plugin is much the same as installing a Vim plugin. However, because they potentially have JavaScript extension code in addition to VimL, you often need to install NPM dependencies.

Prerequisite: Make sure the npm command is available. If not, install the latest node

As above, you just need to create a folder hosting the plugin, and install the dependencies. As an example, here's how you'd install the oni-plugin-tslint extension.

  • cd ~/.oni
  • mkdir -p plugins
  • cd plugins
  • git clone https://github.com/extr0py/oni-plugin-tslint
  • cd oni-plugin-tslint
  • npm install

Restart Oni, and linting should now be enabled when you open up a TypeScript (.ts) file.


Oni offers several rich extensibility points, with the focus being on various UI integrations as well as IDE-like capabilities.

NOTE: The API will be in-flux until v1.0.

Language extenders given ONI rich integration with languages, offering services like:

  • Code Completion
  • Quick Info
  • Goto Definition
  • Formatting
  • Live code evaluation
  • Unit test integration
  • Enhanced syntax highlighting

To see the in-progress API, check out the Oni.d.ts definition file as well as the typescript language plugin, which demonstrates several of these features:

You can explore the Oni API during runtime by doing the following:

  • Press <C-P> (open Command Palette)
  • Select "Open Dev Tools"
  • You can access the Oni object directly, ie:


ONI currently supports the setting of a background image as well as background opacity.


Project Templates



Why isn't my init.vim loaded?

TL;DR - Set the oni.useDefaultConfig configuration value to false

By default, Oni has an opinionated, prescribed set of plugins, in order to facilitate a predictable out-of-box experience that highlights the additional UI integration points. However, this will likely have conflicts with a Vim/Neovim veteran's finely-honed configuration.

To avoid loading the Oni defaults, and instead use your init.vim, set this configuration value to false in $HOME/.oni/config.js.

Included VIM Plugins

This distribution contains several VIM plugins that enhance the VIM experience.

These are:

As well as some color-schemes:


See roadmap


MIT License. Copyright (c) extropygames

There are a few image and audio assets bundled with Oni - see ASSETS.md for attribution.

Windows and OSX have a bundled version of Neovim, which is covered under Neovim's license

Bundled Plugins

Bundled plugins have their own license terms. These include:


Contributions are very much welcome :)

If you're interested in helping out, check out CONTRIBUTING.md for tips and tricks for working with ONI.


Big thanks to the NeoVim team - without their work, this project would not be possible. The deep integration with VIM would not be possible without the incredible work that was done to enable the msgpack-RPC interface. Thanks!


A big THANK YOU to our current monthly sponsors. Your contributions help keep this project alive!

Other Contributions

In addition, there are several other great NeoVim front-end UIs here that served as great reference points and learning opportunities.

Also, thanks to our contributors for helping out!

Special thanks to Till Arnold for handing over the oni NPM package name.

Project Statistics

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