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4 hours ago

🗒️ Description

Auto Session takes advantage of Neovim's existing session management capabilities to provide seamless automatic session management.

💡 Behaviour

  1. When starting nvim with no arguments, auto-session will try to restore an existing session for the current cwd if one exists.
  2. When starting nvim . with some argument, auto-session will do nothing.
  3. Even after starting nvim with an argument, a session can still be manually restored by running :SessionRestore.
  4. Any session saving and restoration takes into consideration the current working directory cwd.
  5. When piping to nvim, e.g: cat myfile | nvim, auto-session behaves like #2.

:warning: Please note that if there are errors in your config, restoring the session might fail, if that happens, auto session will then disable auto saving for the current session. Manually saving a session can still be done by calling :SessionSave.

AutoSession now tracks cwd changes! By default, handling is as follows: DirChangedPre (before the cwd actually changes): - Save the current session - Clear all buffers %bd!. This guarantees buffers don't bleed to the next session. - Clear jumps. Also done so there is no bleeding between sessions. - Run the pre_cwd_changed_hook DirChanged (after the cwd has changed): - Restore session using new cwd - Run the post_cwd_changed_hook

Now when the user changes the cwd with :cd some/new/dir auto-session handles it gracefully, saving the current session so there aren't losses and loading the session for the upcoming cwd if it exists.

Hooks are available for custom actions before and after the cwd is changed. These hooks can be configured through the cwd_change_handling key as follows:

require("auto-session").setup {
  log_level = "error",

  cwd_change_handling = {
    restore_upcoming_session = true, -- already the default, no need to specify like this, only here as an example
    pre_cwd_changed_hook = nil, -- already the default, no need to specify like this, only here as an example
    post_cwd_changed_hook = function() -- example refreshing the lualine status line _after_ the cwd changes
      require("lualine").refresh() -- refresh lualine so the new session name is displayed in the status bar

📦 Installation

Any plugin manager should do, I use Packer.nvim

use {
  config = function()
    require("auto-session").setup {
      log_level = "error",
      auto_session_suppress_dirs = { "~/", "~/Projects", "~/Downloads", "/"},

⚙️ Configuration


Auto Session by default stores sessions in vim.fn.stdpath('data').."/sessions/".


One can set the auto_session root dir that will be used for auto session saving and restoring.

let g:auto_session_root_dir = path/to/my/custom/dir

" or use Lua
lua << EOF
local opts = {
  log_level = 'info',
  auto_session_enable_last_session = false,
  auto_session_root_dir = vim.fn.stdpath('data').."/sessions/",
  auto_session_enabled = true,
  auto_save_enabled = nil,
  auto_restore_enabled = nil,
  auto_session_suppress_dirs = nil,
  auto_session_use_git_branch = nil,
  -- the configs below are lua only
  bypass_session_save_file_types = nil



One can show the current session name in the statusline by using an auto-session helper function.

Lualine example config and how it looks

  options = {
    theme = 'tokyonight',
  sections = {lualine_c = {require('auto-session.lib').current_session_name}}


Config Options Default Description
log_level 'debug', 'info', 'error' 'info' Sets the log level of the plugin
auto_session_enable_last_session false, true false Loads the last loaded session if session for cwd does not exist
auto_session_root_dir "/some/path/you/want" vim.fn.stdpath('data').."/sessions/" Changes the root dir for sessions
auto_session_enabled false, true true Enables/disables the plugin's auto save and restore features
auto_session_create_enabled false, true true Enables/disables the plugin's session auto creation
auto_save_enabled false, true, nil nil Enables/disables auto saving
auto_restore_enabled false, true, nil nil Enables/disables auto restoring
auto_session_suppress_dirs ["list", "of paths"] nil Suppress session create/restore if in one of the list of dirs
auto_session_allowed_dirs ["list", "of paths"] nil Allow session create/restore if in one of the list of dirs
auto_session_use_git_branch false, true, nil nil Use the git branch to differentiate the session name


auto_session_suppress_dirs and auto_session_allowed_dirs support base paths with * wildcard (e.g.: /my/base/path/*)

Lua Only Options

require("auto-session").setup {
  bypass_session_save_file_types = nil, -- table: Bypass auto save when only buffer open is one of these file types
  cwd_change_handling = { -- table: Config for handling the DirChangePre and DirChanged autocmds, can be set to nil to disable altogether
    restore_upcoming_session = true, -- boolean: restore session for upcoming cwd on cwd change
    pre_cwd_changed_hook = nil, -- function: This is called after auto_session code runs for the `DirChangedPre` autocmd
    post_cwd_changed_hook = nil, -- function: This is called after auto_session code runs for the `DirChanged` autocmd

Recommended sessionoptions config

For a better experience with the plugin overall using this config for sessionoptions is recommended.




set sessionoptions+=winpos,terminal,folds

:warning: if you use packer.nvim's lazy loading feature, and you have the options value in your sessionoptions beware it might lead to weird behaviour with the lazy loading, especially around key-based lazy loading where keymaps are kept and thus the lazy loading mapping packer creates never gets set again.

Last Session

This optional feature enables the keeping track and loading of the last session. This loading of a last session happens only when a SessionRestore could not find a session for the current dir. This feature can come in handy when starting Neovim from a GUI for example.

:warning: If the directory does not exist, default directory will be used and an error message will be printed.
:warning: This feature is still experimental and as of right now it interferes with the plugin's ability to auto create new sessions when opening Neovim in a new directory.

require('auto-session').setup {
    auto_session_enable_last_session = true,

A quick workaround for inability to auto create new sessions is to conditionally enable last session.

require('auto-session').setup {
    auto_session_enable_last_session = vim.loop.cwd() == vim.loop.os_homedir(),

Now last session will be restored only when Neovim is launched in the home directory, which is usually right after launching the terminal or Neovim GUI clients.

📢 Commands

Auto Session exposes two commands that can be used or mapped to any keybindings for manually saving and restoring sessions.

:SessionSave " saves or creates a session in the currently set `auto_session_root_dir`.
:SessionSave ~/my/custom/path " saves or creates a session in the specified directory path.
:SessionRestore " restores a previously saved session based on the `cwd`.
:SessionRestore ~/my/custom/path " restores a previously saved session based on the provided path.
:SessionRestoreFromFile ~/session/path " restores any currently saved session
:SessionDelete " deletes a session in the currently set `auto_session_root_dir`.
:SessionDelete ~/my/custom/path " deleetes a session based on the provided path.
:SessionPurgeOrphaned " removes all orphaned sessions with no working directory left.
:Autosession search
:Autosession delete

You can use the Autosession {delete|search} command to open a picker using vim.ui.select this will allow you to either delete or search for a session to restore.

🪝 Command Hooks

Command hooks are a list of commands that get executed at different stages of the session management lifecycle.

Command hooks exist in the format: {hook_name}

  • {pre_save}: executes before a session is saved
  • {save_extra}: executes after a session is saved, return string will save to *x.vim, reference :help mks
  • {post_save}: executes after a session is saved
  • {pre_restore}: executes before a session is restored
  • {post_restore}: executes after a session is restored
  • {pre_delete}: executes before a session is deleted
  • {post_delete}: executes after a session is deleted

Hooks are configured by setting

let g:auto_session_{hook_name}_cmds = ["{hook_command1}", "{hook_command2}"]

" or use Lua
lua << EOF
require('auto-session').setup {
    {hook_name}_cmds = {"{hook_command1}", "{hook_command2}"}
    save_extra_cmds = {
            return [[echo "hello world"]]

hook_command is a valid command mode command. e.g. to close NERDTree before saving the session.

let g:auto_session_pre_save_cmds = ["tabdo NERDTreeClose"]

Hooks can also be lua functions For example to update the directory of the session in nvim-tree:

local function restore_nvim_tree()
    local nvim_tree = require('nvim-tree')

require('auto-session').setup {
    {hook_name}_cmds = {"{vim_cmd_1}", restore_nvim_tree, "{vim_cmd_2}"}

Disabling the plugin

One might run into issues with Firenvim or another plugin and want to disable auto_session altogether based on some condition. For this example, as to not try and save sessions for Firenvim, we disable the plugin if the started_by_firenvim variable is set.

if exists('g:started_by_firenvim')
  let g:auto_session_enabled = v:false

One can also disable the plugin by setting the auto_session_enabled option to false at startup.

nvim "+let g:auto_session_enabled = v:false"

🚧 Troubleshooting

For troubleshooting refer to the wiki page.

🔭 Session Lens

Session Lens has been merged into Auto Session! This means all the functionality of Session Lens is now available in Auto Session.

You still need to call the session-lens specific setup function for things to work properly since even though these plugins are now merged, they are effectively fully modular and auto-session does not depend on session-lens functionality.

require("auto-session").setup {
  log_level = vim.log.levels.ERROR,
  auto_session_suppress_dirs = { "~/", "~/Projects", "~/Downloads", "/" },
  auto_session_use_git_branch = false,

  auto_session_enable_last_session = false,

  -- ⚠️ This will only work if Telescope.nvim is installed
  -- The following are already the default values, no need to provide them if these are already the settings you want.
  session_lens = {
    -- If load_on_setup is set to false, one needs to eventually call `require("auto-session").setup_session_lens()` if they want to use session-lens.
    buftypes_to_ignore = {}, -- list of buffer types what should not be deleted from current session
    load_on_setup = true,
    theme_conf = { border = true },
    previewer = false,

-- Set mapping for searching a session.
-- ⚠️ This will only work if Telescope.nvim is installed
vim.keymap.set("n", "<C-s>", require("auto-session.session-lens").search_session, {
  noremap = true,

The following shortcuts are available when the session-lens picker is open

  • <c-s> restores the previously opened session. This can give you a nice flow if you're constantly switching between two projects.
  • <c-d> will delete the currently highlighted session. This makes it easy to keep the session list clean.

Sometime after telescope.nvim has been started, you'll want to call lua require("telescope").load_extension "session-lens" so that command completion works for :Telescope session-lens commands.

Auto Session provides its own :Autosession search and :Autosession delete commands, but session-lens is a more complete version of those commands that is specifically built to be used with telescope.nvim. These commands make use of vim.ui.select which can itself be implemented by other plugins other than telescope.



Neovim > 0.7

Tested with:

NVIM v0.7.0