in vim, with


I get the number of all buffers the same with


, but
how I can get the total number of buffers ?

5 Answers 5


Same idea than Heptite's solution, but as a one liner. Many other things may be done this way: get the name of the buffer (thanks to map), wipeout buffers that match a pattern, https://stackoverflow.com/questions/2974192/how-can-i-pare-down-vims-buffer-list-to-only-include-active-buffers/2974600#2974600n etc.

echo len(filter(range(1, bufnr('$')), 'buflisted(v:val)'))

Answers so far are too hacky. Here is vim's built-in way:


As always, see vim's help (:h getbufinfo()) for the official explanation.

  • 5
    At the time this was asked, your answer would not have been possible because Vim didn't support it. Now it's probably the optimal solution.
    – Heptite
    Jun 22, 2017 at 0:08
  • Is it possible to get the number in the current tab instead?
    – Niing
    Jan 4 at 8:28

To my knowledge there is no built-in method in Vim to do this, but you could create a function:

function! NrBufs()
    let i = bufnr('$')
    let j = 0
    while i >= 1
        if buflisted(i)
            let j+=1
        let i-=1
    return j

Put the above in a text file with its name ending in .vim, :source it, then you can do something like:

:let buffer_count = NrBufs()
:echo buffer_count

June 21 note: If you have a recent version of Vim as of 2017, Gid's answer below is the optimal solution.

  • 1
    Note for others who find this: I think it should be 'while i > 0', since buffer numbers start from 1, not 0.
    – Meta
    Jul 11, 2013 at 14:10
  • @Meta: I fixed my answer. Thanks. Although it's not really going to be an issue since there will always be at least one buffer.
    – Heptite
    Jul 11, 2013 at 17:44

Are you looking perhaps for ?

  • This will "count" buffers that have been unloaded since Vim never recycles a buffer number, plus it would have to be :echo bufnr('$')
    – Heptite
    Oct 12, 2011 at 1:00
  • (Okay, your version will properly echo the number of the last loaded buffer, but the syntax is a little confusing.)
    – Heptite
    Oct 12, 2011 at 1:07
  • @Heptite - Yes, that was a mistake. As to the matter of syntax, I see no difference between the two.
    – Rook
    Oct 12, 2011 at 1:28
  • They do the same thing, but :echo is a command and not a function, and can never be used like a function (unless you wrap your own user-defined function around an :echo). The difference is important in many contexts of VimL.
    – Heptite
    Oct 12, 2011 at 3:41
  • @Heptite - I must admit I've no idea what you just said ... (more of a duct tape engineer here; less of a "code is beautiful" programmer)
    – Rook
    Oct 12, 2011 at 3:55

If you want Heptite's solution as a command, add the following to your .vimrc file:

command BufNum echo len(filter(range(1, bufnr('$')), 'buflisted(v:val)'))

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