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18 days ago


This is not an officially supported Google product.

Executor.nvim is a plugin that allows you to run command line tasks in the background and be notified of results.

It is primarily designed for running tests, but any command line task can be run using it.

Once the task is run, you can see the output in a split:

Or in a popup:


Install via your favourite plugin manager. You also need to install nui.nvim as this plugin depends on it.

For example, if you use Lazy.nvim you will want something like:

  dependencies = {
  config = function()
    -- your setup here

And then call the setup method:



A typical workflow looks like:

  1. :ExecutorRun: runs your given task. If it's the first time you've run it, you will be prompted for a command. After that, it will remember and re-use your command (See :ExecutorSetCommand if you'd like to change it).

  2. The task will run in the background. You will get a small notification when the task has finished, and it will tell you if it was a success or not. This is based on the exit code of the command you ran.

  3. You can use :ExecutorShowDetail to reveal the detail window showing the task output. By default this will open in a split window on the right hand side, but it can be configured to use a floating popup. The size and position of the split can be configured also.

  4. :ExecutorHideDetail will hide the detail window. By default it will open in a floating window, but it can be configured to use a split too.

  5. :ExecutorToggleDetail will hide the detail view if it is visible, otherwise it will show it.

Key mappings

No keys are bound by default; it is left up to you to bind your preferred keys to each option.

Available commands:

  • ExecutorRun: run the stored command. Will prompt for the command if it does not exist. Use <Esc> or q in the initial text prompt to cancel.

  • ExecutorSetCommand: change the command that runs when ExecutorRun is invoked. You can use <Esc> or q in normal mode to cancel this command.

  • ExecutorShowDetail: reveal the details window for the last execution run.

  • ExecutorHideDetail: hide the details window for the last execution run.

  • ExecutorToggleDetail: toggle the visibility of the details window.

  • ExecutorSwapToSplit: changes your view setting to render in a split, not a popup. Useful if you prefer a popup most of the time but want to temporarily swap for a particular task.

  • ExecutorSwapToPopup: changes your view setting to render in a popup, not a split. Useful if you prefer a popup most of the time but want to temporarily swap for a particular task.

  • ExecutorShowPresets: shows the preset commands set in config.

  • ExecutorShowHistory: shows the previous commands run in the session.

  • ExecutorReset: will clear the output from the statusline and clear the stored command. Useful if your last run was a while ago, and the status output on your statusline is no longer relevant.

  • ExecutorOneOff [cmd]: runs the provided command and shows the results, but does not overwrite your stored command.

These options are all available via the Lua API also:

local executor = require("executor")


You can therefore map the Vim commands to a key:

vim.api.nvim_set_keymap("n", "<leader>er", ":ExecutorRun<CR>", {})
vim.api.nvim_set_keymap("n", "<leader>ev", ":ExecutorToggleDetail<CR>", {})

Or use the Lua API:

local executor = require('executor')

vim.keymap.set("n", "<leader>er", function()


setup takes a Lua table with the following options. The options provided are the default options.

 -- View details of the task run in a split, rather than a popup window.
 -- Set this to `false` to use a popup.
 use_split = true,

 -- Configure the split. These are ignored if you are using a popup.
 split = {
   -- One of "top", "right", "bottom" or "left"
   position = "right",
   -- The number of columns to take up. This sets the split to 1/4 of the
   -- space. If you're using the split at the top or bottom, you could also
   -- use `vim.o.lines` to set this relative to the height of the window.
   size = math.floor(vim.o.columns * 1/4)

 -- Configure the popup. These are ignored if you are using a split.
 popup = {
   -- Sets the width of the popup to 3/5ths of the screen's width.
   width = math.floor(vim.o.columns * 3/5),
   -- Sets the height to almost full height, allowing for some padding.
   height = vim.o.lines - 20,
    -- Border styles
   border = {
      padding = {
        top = 2,
        bottom = 2,
        left = 3,
        right = 3,
      style = "rounded",
 -- Filter output from commands. See *filtering_output* below for more
 output_filter = function(command, lines)
   return lines

 notifications = {
   -- Show a popup notification when a task is started.
   task_started = true,
   -- Show a popup notification when a task is completed.
   task_completed = true,
    -- Border styles
   border = {
      padding = {
        top = 0,
        bottom = 0,
        left = 1,
        right = 1,
      style = "rounded",
 statusline = {
   prefix = "Executor: "
    icons = {
      in_progress = "…",
      failed = "✖ ",
      passed = "✓",

If you want to customise the input UI or select UI, these use vim.ui.input and, so you should find your favourite plugin that overrides those.

Status line

Executor will pop up when a task succeeds or fails, but you can also include it in your status line. Use require('executor').statusline() to generate the output.

If you want more control and to build a custom experience, you can call require('executor').current_status(). This will return a string containing either NEVER_RUN, IN_PROGRESS, FAILED or PASSED. You can then use this to customise and output a dynamic statusbar as you wish.

You can also call require('executor).last_command() which returns a table with two fields: cmd, which is the last command that was run, and one_off, which is a boolean indicating if the last command you executed was a one off command (via :ExecutorOneOff).

Filtering output

Executor provides a hook for you to filter any output from a task before it's shown to you. This can be useful if a command outputs debugging lines that you want to avoid, and cannot be configured via command line flags.

Note: you should always try to configure this via the command itself; this option is designed as a last resort.

To add filtering, define the output_filter configuration function. This function takes two arguments:

  • command: this is a string that is the command that was run. This allows you to configure filtering conditionally based on commands.

  • lines: this is a Lua table containing all the lines from the output.

The function should return a Lua table containing all the lines you want to keep.

For example, this function removes any lines that contain the string "foo", if the command was "npm test":

output_filter = function(command, lines)
  if command == "npm test" then
    local kept_lines = {}
    for _, line in ipairs(lines) do
      if string.substr(line, "foo") == nil then
        table.insert(kept_lines, line)
    return kept_lines

  return lines

You have a lot of freedom here, whatever table of lines you return will be used, so you are free to add/edit/remove lines as required.

Preset commands

To save yourself repeating commands in the same directory, you can store them and select them via a prompt.

Pass a table to the preset_commands config setting. Each key should be a directory name, or a partial path (it will be matched against the current working directory). The value should be a table of commonly used tasks:

preset_commands = {
  ["executor.nvim"] = {
    "make test",

You can use :ExecutorShowPresets to bring up a UI with these options in. Selecting one (using Enter) will cause it to be set as the default command and then run. You can hit ESC to close the menu and not execute any task.

You can also define a command as a function by passing a table with a cmd key:

preset_commands = {
  ["executor.nvim"] = {
      cmd = function()
        -- Use bufnr 0 to use current buffer.
        local buf_name = vim.api.nvim_buf_get_name(0)
        return "echo 'Buffer name:'" .. buf_name

If you have a command that you need to tweak before running, you can set it to be partial:

preset_commands = {
  ["executor.nvim"] = {
    { partial = true, cmd = "make test --filter="},

When you pick a partial preset from the list you will then be presented with an input box where you can edit the command before applying it. You can define cmd here as a string or a function.

One-off commands

You may have tasks you want to often run (such as a build script) but not use as your saved Executor task. In this case you can use :ExecutorOneOff, passing the command with it:

:ExecutorOneOff npm run build

This will execute npm run build, but not overwrite your saved task.

You may want to bind common tasks to a keybinding:

vim.api.nvim_set_keymap("n", "<leader>b", ":ExecutorOneOff npm run build<CR>", {})

Historical commands

Using :ExecutorShowHistory will reveal a popup menu which shows all the commands you have used Executor to run (limited to that session only - they are not persisted). Picking one of these options will then set it as the new default task and run it.