Python-mode – A Vim Plugin to Develop Python Applications in Vim Editor

Python-mode is a vim plugin that enables you to write Python code in Vim editor in a fast manner by utilizing libraries including pylint, rope, pydoc, pyflakes, pep8, autopep8, pep257 and mccabe for coding features such as static analysis, refactoring, folding, completion, documentation, and more.

Suggested Read: Bash-Support – A Vim Plugin That Converts Vim Editor to Bash-IDE

This plugin contains all the features that you can use to develop python applications in Vim editor.

Python-mode Features

It has the following notable features:

  • Support Python version 2.6+ and 3.2+.
  • Supports syntax highlighting.
  • Offers virtualenv support.
  • Supports python folding.
  • Offers enhanced python indentation.
  • Enables running of python code from within Vim.
  • Enables addition/removal of breakpoints.
  • Supports python motions and operators.
  • Enables code checking (pylint, pyflakes, pylama, …) that can be run simultaneouslyi>
  • Supports autofixing of PEP8 errors.
  • Allows searching in python documentation.
  • Supports code refactoring.
  • Supports strong code completion.
  • Supports going to definition.

In this tutorial, we will show you how to setup Vim to use Python-mode in Linux to develop Python applications in Vim editor.

How to Install Python-mode for Vim in Linux

Start by installing Pathogen (makes it super easy to install plugins and runtime files in their own private directories) for easy installation of Python-mode.

Run the commands below to get the pathogen.vim file and the directories it needs:

# mkdir -p ~/.vim/autoload ~/.vim/bundle && \
# curl -LSso ~/.vim/autoload/pathogen.vim

Then add the following lines below to your ~/.vimrc file:

execute pathogen#infect()
syntax on
filetype plugin indent on

Once you have installed pathogen, and you can now put Python-mode into ~/.vim/bundle as follows.

# cd ~/.vim/bundle 
# git clone

Then rebuild helptags in vim like this.


You need to enable filetype-plugin (:help filetype-plugin-on) and filetype-indent (:help filetype-indent-on) to use python-mode.

Install Python-mode in Debian and Ubuntu

Another way you can install python-mode in Debian and Ubuntu systems using PPA as shown.

$ sudo add-apt-repository main
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install vim-python-mode

If you you encounter the message: “The following signatures couldn’t be verified because the public key is not available”, run the command below:

$ sudo apt-key adv --keyserver --recv-keys B5DF65307000E266

Now enable python-mode using vim-addon-manager like so.

$ sudo apt install vim-addon-manager
$ vim-addons install python-mode

Customizing Python-mode in Linux

To override the default key bindings, redefine them in the .vimrc files, for instance:

" Override go-to.definition key shortcut to Ctrl-]
let g:pymode_rope_goto_definition_bind = "<C-]>"

" Override run current python file key shortcut to Ctrl-Shift-e
let g:pymode_run_bind = "<C-S-e>"

" Override view python doc key shortcut to Ctrl-Shift-d
let g:pymode_doc_bind = "<C-S-d>"

Note that python-mode uses python 2 syntax checking by default. You can enable python 3 syntax checking by adding this in your .vimrc.

let g:pymode_python = 'python3'

You can find additional configuration options on the Python-mode Github Repository:

That’s all for now! In this tutorial, we will show you how to integrate Vim to with Python-mode in Linux. Share your thoughts with us via the feedback form below.

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5 thoughts on “Python-mode – A Vim Plugin to Develop Python Applications in Vim Editor”

  1. Hi!

    I follow this installation instruction, but whenever I edit a python file (vi, I got:

    An error was encountered while processing /home/pablo/.vim/bundle/python-mode/autoload/pymode/lint.vim:
    line 1
        from pylama.lint.extensions import LINTERS
    Press ENTER or enter an order to continue
    An error was encountered while processing /home/pablo/.vim/bundle/python-mode/autoload/pymode/lint.vim:
    line 1
    ModuleNotFoundError: No module named 'pylama'

    Can you give me any help, please!



  2. Please add the following way to add this plugin via Vundle:

    If one already has Vundle installed, you can easily add the plugin in .vimrc file as shown.

    Plugin 'klen/python-mode'

    then open vim and run:


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