Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

When using the delightful netrw support in vim to open a file, opening directly works well, as in

:e scp://hostname//path/to/file

however, you can't change the working directory via

:cd scp://hostname//path/

Is there a way of getting this or equivalent behavior? Key part is I want to be able to use a relative path to edit files.

Please feel free to use scripts or plugins in your answer.

share|improve this question

migrated from Aug 28 '11 at 10:00

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

what's up with the closes? I thought we'd well established that only us programmers use vim. this question may very well involve scripting in its answer too! – Peter Aug 27 '11 at 17:06
don't worry, from time to time people vote to close on Vim questions. If closed, we'll reopen it. And for reference, here is the link to the Vim discussion on meta. – sidyll Aug 27 '11 at 17:11
up vote 3 down vote accepted

The concept of current directory is a property of a process. Since your vim process and the process at the other end of the scp are different, there is no way to effect its notion of the current directory. That said,

  • scp likely starts with a current working directory of the user's home directory. Things like scp user@host:txt/foo.txt . usually do the right thing.
  • Set a vim or environment variable to scp://hostname//path/ and then use :e $var/file. Details how to do this left as an exercise :-)
  • Folks on usenet newsgroups like comp.editors know all about vim.
share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.