Is it possible to put the .vimrc into the .vim folder so that I only have to sync the whole folder and not folder and file to other computers?

  • 2
    You might consider keeping all of your dotfiles in a revision controlled repository. All my dotfiles are kept in a directory managed by git. This repo also contains a scripts to check for diffs between the repo and the installed dotfiles, and a script to copy the dotfiles to their proper locations. To set up another machine, I basically copy the repo and run the install script. Aug 18, 2013 at 15:51
  • I got the same system, my dotfile even get compiled from a lot of separate source files, since a single file was becoming too long :-D Aug 21, 2013 at 19:25
  • @RolandSmith How do you set up a repo with your dot files? One way I can think of is to run git init in your home folder and excluded everything but the dot files that you want to keep track of. Dec 11, 2016 at 6:39
  • @adammendoza I do not manage them in-place. I gather everything into a directory tree and use a script called deploy to install them. Read the description on the linked github page to see how it works. Dec 17, 2016 at 15:16
  • There is a tool called VCSH that lets you track them in guy from your home directory but keeps the repo somewhere else. Dec 17, 2016 at 17:59

4 Answers 4


Starting in Vim 7.4 you can also just place a file vimrc into $HOME/.vim/vimrc or $HOME/vimfiles/vimrc for Windows and Vim will find it automatically.

Note, this is vimrc without a . (dot) or _ (underscore) like the traditional .vimrc/_vimrc file would have.

  • Sounds good. If you like, you can put your code into backticks. Aug 8, 2013 at 16:09
  • 7.4 is now out of beta, too...so this is probably the best way to do it now.
    – Ben
    Aug 16, 2013 at 18:51
  • +1 for my new standard way of usign those files. In case I'm on a machine that doesn't use 7.4 but an older version, I can always make a symlink...
    – polemon
    Aug 17, 2013 at 17:58
  • @Ben: Well, it will take a while until I have 7.4 on my Ubuntu machine without any backports, so it will stay that way for now. Aug 18, 2013 at 10:42

I keep my .vimrc in .vim and symlink it.

ln -s ~/.vim/.vimrc ~/.vimrc

On Windows I believe you can do the same with mklink.

  • I do this, and also have the .vimrc directory on github which makes it very easy when setting up a new account. This is described in the first steps of this vimcast
    – pmac72
    Jun 26, 2012 at 21:16

If you were to create an alias for vim to specify the location of the .vimrc like thus:

alias vim='vim -u ~/.vim/vimrc'

then you could do away with having .vimrc separate.


This will cause issues with other programs interacting with vim. Pressing 'v' in 'less' will not work, since it calls vim via the contents of the EDITOR env-variable. I suppose you could add the '-u ...' bit into the EDITOR variable. might work.

For gvim, you'd use an uppercase 'U' there, to specify the location of the .gvimrc file. Again, issues ensue unless you change EVERY possible starting location of gvim in your window manager's starting links.

All in all, I'd suggest using @remyo's suggestion if you MUST have it all in one subdir.

It's relatively easy to create a post-pull script that would reestablish the link between 'repo/.vimrc' and '~/.vimrc'.

Good luck.

(you could recompile vim yourself, specifying a new default location for the .vimrc file.)

  • 1
    Okay, that sounds like creating more problems than solving. Jun 19, 2012 at 7:33

That's exactly what I do, with this single line in my ~/.vimrc:

runtime vimrc
  • 2
    Okay, but I still got to have a .vimrc then. Then I just use the one you gave me in the other question. Jun 18, 2012 at 15:59

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