Guide to Installing Neovim on Linux: Explore the Modern Vim

How To Install Nvim

Neovim, or Nvim, is a terminal-based text editor commonly used for programming on Linux. It can be installed using AppImage, package managers like pacman, apt, dnf, or by building from source. Neovim offers features like Language Server Protocol support and enhanced plugin support in Lua. Let’s look at how to install Neovim on Linux.

Neovim: Revolutionizing Vim for Modern Development

Vim is a text editor that comes with UNIX based system and is used to write small programs. But as time passed, there was something Vim lacked and to overcome those shortcomings, Neovim was introduced. Written in Lua, the goal of Neovim was to modularize the code making it easier to maintain and contribute.

Neovim is a Vim-based text editor engineered for extensibility and usability, to encourage new applications and contributions. According to the official website, Neovim is built for users who want the good parts of Vim, and more.

Neovim also has built-in Language Server Protocol support. Language server Protocol enables code highlighting, syntax checking, autocompletion, etc.

Vim had already pretty good plugin support but Neovim does one up on that, it allows plugins to use more versatile language to write plugins in Lua.

There are other good features in Neovim but I will let you guys explore that out as you start using Nvim once you install it in your Linux systems.

Step-by-Step Guide to Installing Neovim on Linux

You can install Nvim either from AppImage, using the package manager or if nothing works you build it from source (the last resort usually). I will cover all of these methods one by one. So let’s get started.

Installing Neovim with AppImage

AppImage comes with all the libraries bundled together, so you don’t have to deal with missing dependencies and other issues. For the most part, it works well enough but as a cautionary note, it might not work if your Linux distribution is more than 4 years old.

You can head over to Nvim releases on GitHub and download AppImage from there or you can run the following commands:

curl -LO
chmod u+x nvim.appimage

In the first line, we use curl to download the AppImage, if you don’t have curl in your Linux system then you might be interested in checking this tutorial on curl.

Using the chmod you are making the AppImage executable, alternatively, you can also right-click on the AppImage and make it executable in file properties but I will leave that to you based on your preference. Finally, you can run the AppImage, and voila you got Nvim running in your system.

Using Package Managers for Neovim Installation

If AppImage is not your thing, don’t worry. I have you covered with this method, a lot of us prefer to download it from the repository using our preferred package manager(mainly the default one). So let’s get into it.

If you are using Arch based system then you will be happy to know that it’s available on the community repository and you can just run the command below to install it.

sudo pacman -S neovim

Also, there is a nightly build available of Neovim on AUR, which you can download using PKGBUILD, so you might want to check that out.

Moving on, if you are using Centos 8/RHEL 8 then Neovim is available through the EPEL, run the below command to install it.

yum install -y
yum install -y neovim python3-neovim

In Debian/Ubuntu you can run the following command to get Neovim.

sudo apt install neovim

If you are using either Fedora 25 or higher (last I checked the latest release was Fedora 38) then Neovim is available and you can run the below command to install it.

sudo dnf install -y neovim python3-neovim

If you are on Gentoo then an ebuild is available so you can run the below command to get Neovim in your system.

emerge -a app-editors/neovim

You can also use the Snap package manager to install Neovim, if you don’t have Snap then you can check out this tutorial. Run the following commands to get Neovim using Snap.

sudo snap install --beta nvim --classic

Building Neovim from Source

Building from source is usually complex and as a beginner in Linux you might feel scared of it, but hey there’s a first for everything so you can also give this try, it’s not that difficult. First, you need to ensure that you have the prerequisite libraries which are:

You can check the tutorials to see how to install the above libraries, once installed you have to follow the steps below.

  • First, clone the repository
git clone
  • Then cd to navigate to the cloned repository
cd neovim
  • Now let’s build it by running the command below, just remember that it will take some time so don’t panic and wait for the process to finish.
make CMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=RelWithDebInfo
  • After building it, you can now install it using the command below.
sudo make install

To verify if it’s properly installed or not, you can just run the nvim command.

Regardless of the approach you used, you should have Neovim installed in your system and now you can use it for small or big programs. Explore Neovim and install plugins, customize it, and have fun. For reference when you type nvim command the screen will be similar to the image below.



You’ve made it to the end, and now you know all the ins and outs of installing Neovim on your Linux system. Whether you’re a Vim veteran looking for something fresh or a newcomer eager to dive into terminal-based editing, Neovim has something special for you. So go ahead, fire up Neovim, and explore all those cool features we talked about. What’s the first project you’re going to tackle with your newly installed Neovim?