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5 months ago

VS Tasks

Telescope plugin to load and run tasks in a project that conform to VS Code's Editor Tasks


  • ⚙ Run tasks with Toggleterm
    • run tasks in a horizontal or vertical split terminal
  • ✏️ edit input variables that will be used for the session
  • Use VS Code's variables in the command (limited support, see desired features)
  • Use VS Code's launch.json pattern (limited support)
  • ⟳ Run tasks from your history, sorted by most used


Short Demo

Short Demo

Setup and usage

With Plug:

Plug 'nvim-lua/popup.nvim'
Plug 'nvim-lua/plenary.nvim'
Plug 'nvim-telescope/telescope.nvim' " make sure you have telescope installed
Plug 'EthanJWright/vs-tasks.nvim'

With Packer:

use {
  requires = {

With Lazy:

  dependencies = {

Set up keybindings:

nnoremap <Leader>ta :lua require("telescope").extensions.vstask.tasks()<CR>
nnoremap <Leader>ti :lua require("telescope").extensions.vstask.inputs()<CR>
nnoremap <Leader>th :lua require("telescope").extensions.vstask.history()<CR>
nnoremap <Leader>tl :lua require('telescope').extensions.vstask.launch()<cr>

Note: When the task telescope is open:

  • Enter will open in toggleterm
  • Ctrl-v will open in a vertical split terminal
  • Ctrl-p will open in a split terminal


VS Tasks can auto detect certain scripts from your package, such as npm scripts.


  • Configure harpoon use (auto cache terminals based on task)
  • Configure toggle term use
  • Configure terminal behavior
  • Cache json conf sets whether the config will be ran every time. If the cache is removed, this will also remove cache features such as remembering last ran command
lua <<EOF
  cache_json_conf = true, -- don't read the json conf every time a task is ran
  cache_strategy = "last", -- can be "most" or "last" (most used / last used)
  config_dir = ".vscode", -- directory to look for tasks.json and launch.json
  use_harpoon = true, -- use harpoon to auto cache terminals
  telescope_keys = { -- change the telescope bindings used to launch tasks
      vertical = '<C-v>',
      split = '<C-p>',
      tab = '<C-t>',
      current = '<CR>',
  autodetect = { -- auto load scripts
    npm = "on"
  terminal = 'toggleterm',
  term_opts = {
    vertical = {
      direction = "vertical",
      size = "80"
    horizontal = {
      direction = "horizontal",
      size = "10"
    current = {
      direction = "float",
    tab = {
      direction = 'tab',
  json_parser = 'vim.fn.json.decode'

Work with json5 files

VS Code uses json5 which allows use of comments and trailing commas. If you want to use the same tasks as your teammates, and they leave trailing commas and comments in the project's task.json, you will need another parser than the default vim.fn.json_decode.

A proposed solution: Add the following to your dependencies.

lua <<EOF
      run = './'

And add the following option in the setup:

lua <<EOF
    json_parser = require('json5').parse



In your project root set up .vscode/tasks.json (default config directory set to .vscode, but can be changed in setup)

  "version": "2.0.0",
  "tasks": [
      "label": "🧪 Run unit tests that match the expression",
      "type": "shell",
      "command": "pytest -k '${input:expression}'"
      "label": "🐮 Cowsay",
      "type": "shell",
      "command": "echo ${input:cowmsg} | cowsay"
  "inputs": [
      "id": "expression",
      "description": "Expression to filter tests with",
      "default": "",
      "type": "promptString"
      "id": "cowmsg",
      "description": "Message for cow to say",
      "default": "Hello there!",
      "type": "promptString"


lua require("telescope").extensions.vstask.tasks() -- open task list in telescope
lua require("telescope").extensions.vstask.inputs() -- open the input list, set new input
lua require("telescope").extensions.vstask.history() -- search history of tasks
lua require("telescope").extensions.vstask.close() -- close the task runner (if toggleterm)

You can also configure themes and pass options to the picker

lua require("telescope").extensions.vstask.tasks(require('telescope.themes').get_dropdown()) -- open task list in telescope

You can also grab the last run task and do what you want with it, such as open it in a new terminal:

function _RUN_LAST_TASK()
  local vstask_ok, vstask = pcall(require, "vstask")
  if not vstask_ok then
  local cmd = vstask.get_last()
  vim.cmd("term " .. cmd)

Features to implement

Full VS Code variable support

All variables available in VS Code should also work in this plugin, though they are not all tested.

Extend support for VS Code schema

At this point only the features I need professionally have been implemented. The implemented schema elements are as follows:

  • Tasks: Label
  • Tasks: Command
  • Tasks: ID
  • Inputs: Description
  • Inputs: Default

As I do not use VS Code, the current implementation are the elements that seem most immediately useful. In the future it may be good to look into implementing other schema elements such as problemMatcher and group.