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A starting point for Neovim that is:

  • Small
  • Single-file (with examples of moving to multi-file)
  • Documented
  • Modular

This repo is meant to be used by YOU to begin your Neovim journey; remove the things you don't use and add what you miss.

Kickstart.nvim targets only the latest 'stable' and latest 'nightly' of Neovim. If you are experiencing issues, please make sure you have the latest versions.

Distribution Alternatives:

  • LazyVim: A delightful distribution maintained by @folke (the author of lazy.nvim, the package manager used here)


NOTE Backup your previous configuration (if any exists)


  • Make sure to review the readmes of the plugins if you are experiencing errors. In particular:
  • See Windows Installation if you have trouble with telescope-fzf-native

Neovim's configurations are located under the following paths, depending on your OS:

Linux $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/nvim, ~/.config/nvim
MacOS $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/nvim, ~/.config/nvim
Windows (cmd) %userprofile%\AppData\Local\nvim\
Windows (powershell) $env:USERPROFILE\AppData\Local\nvim\

Clone kickstart.nvim:

  • on Linux and Mac
git clone https://github.com/nvim-lua/kickstart.nvim.git "${XDG_CONFIG_HOME:-$HOME/.config}"/nvim
  • on Windows (cmd)
git clone https://github.com/nvim-lua/kickstart.nvim.git %userprofile%\AppData\Local\nvim\ 
  • on Windows (powershell)
git clone https://github.com/nvim-lua/kickstart.nvim.git $env:USERPROFILE\AppData\Local\nvim\ 

Post Installation

Start Neovim


The Lazy plugin manager will start automatically on the first run and install the configured plugins - as can be seen in the introduction video. After the installation is complete you can press q to close the Lazy UI and you are ready to go! Next time you run nvim Lazy will no longer show up.

If you would prefer to hide this step and run the plugin sync from the command line, you can use:

nvim --headless "+Lazy! sync" +qa

Recommended Steps

Fork this repo (so that you have your own copy that you can modify) and then installing you can install to your machine using the methods above.

Your fork's url will be something like this: https://github.com/<your_github_username>/kickstart.nvim.git

Configuration And Extension

  • Inside of your copy, feel free to modify any file you like! It's your copy!
  • Feel free to change any of the default options in init.lua to better suit your needs.
  • For adding plugins, there are 3 primary options:
    • Add new configuration in lua/custom/plugins/* files, which will be auto sourced using lazy.nvim (uncomment the line importing the custom/plugins directory in the init.lua file to enable this)
    • Modify init.lua with additional plugins.
    • Include the lua/kickstart/plugins/* files in your configuration.

You can also merge updates/changes from the repo back into your fork, to keep up-to-date with any changes for the default configuration.

Example: Adding an autopairs plugin

In the file: lua/custom/plugins/autopairs.lua, add:

-- File: lua/custom/plugins/autopairs.lua

return {
  -- Optional dependency
  dependencies = { 'hrsh7th/nvim-cmp' },
  config = function()
    require("nvim-autopairs").setup {}
    -- If you want to automatically add `(` after selecting a function or method
    local cmp_autopairs = require('nvim-autopairs.completion.cmp')
    local cmp = require('cmp')

This will automatically install windwp/nvim-autopairs and enable it on startup. For more information, see documentation for lazy.nvim.

Example: Adding a file tree plugin

In the file: lua/custom/plugins/filetree.lua, add:

-- Unless you are still migrating, remove the deprecated commands from v1.x
vim.cmd([[ let g:neo_tree_remove_legacy_commands = 1 ]])

return {
  version = "*",
  dependencies = {
    "nvim-tree/nvim-web-devicons", -- not strictly required, but recommended
  config = function ()
    require('neo-tree').setup {}

This will install the tree plugin and add the command :Neotree for you. You can explore the documentation at neo-tree.nvim for more information.


Pull-requests are welcome. The goal of this repo is not to create a Neovim configuration framework, but to offer a starting template that shows, by example, available features in Neovim. Some things that will not be included:

  • Custom language server configuration (null-ls templates)
  • Theming beyond a default colorscheme necessary for LSP highlight groups

Each PR, especially those which increase the line count, should have a description as to why the PR is necessary.


  • What should I do if I already have a pre-existing neovim configuration?
    • You should back it up, then delete all files associated with it.
    • This includes your existing init.lua and the neovim files in ~/.local which can be deleted with rm -rf ~/.local/share/nvim/
    • You may also want to look at the migration guide for lazy.nvim
  • Can I keep my existing configuration in parallel to kickstart?
    • Yes! You can use NVIM_APPNAME=nvim-NAME to maintain multiple configurations. For example you can install the kickstart configuration in ~/.config/nvim-kickstart and create an alias:
      alias nvim-kickstart='NVIM_APPNAME="nvim-kickstart" nvim'
      When you run Neovim using nvim-kickstart alias it will use the alternative config directory and the matching local directory ~/.local/share/nvim-kickstart. You can apply this approach to any Neovim distribution that you would like to try out.
  • What if I want to "uninstall" this configuration:
  • Are there any cool videos about this plugin?
    • Current iteration of kickstart (coming soon)
    • Here is one about the previous iteration of kickstart: video introduction to Kickstart.nvim. Note the install via init.lua no longer works as specified. Please follow the install instructions in this file instead as they're up to date.
  • Why is the kickstart init.lua a single file? Wouldn't it make sense to split it into multiple files?
    • The main purpose of kickstart is to serve as a teaching tool and a reference configuration that someone can easily git clone as a basis for their own. As you progress in learning Neovim and Lua, you might consider splitting init.lua into smaller parts. A fork of kickstart that does this while maintaining the exact same functionality is available here:
    • Discussions on this topic can be found here:

Windows Installation

Installation may require installing build tools, and updating the run command for telescope-fzf-native

See telescope-fzf-native documentation for more details

This requires:

  • Install CMake, and the Microsoft C++ Build Tools on Windows
{'nvim-telescope/telescope-fzf-native.nvim', build = 'cmake -S. -Bbuild -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release && cmake --build build --config Release && cmake --install build --prefix build' }