Installing Vundle: The Plugin Manager For Vim


Table of Contents

Today, this guide will present a step-by-step guide of how to install and configure Vundle (Vim Bundle) from GitHub, and what issues you may face when installing Vundle.

As many of you may know, vim is a console-based text editor that has numerous advanced features. One such feature is that its functionality can be extended and customized using plugins written by other people. Managing these plugins, however, can be rather tedious. Vundle attempts to assist users in managing these plugins for you by providing an interface.


​First, we need to fetch the program from GitHub. One way is going to its repo page, downloading the repository and unpacking it into the ‘~/.vim/bundle/’ directory. The other way (my preferred method) is cloning straight into that folder.$ git clone ~/.vim/bundle/Vundle.vim

clone vundle repo

Next, we need to open up the .vimrc file in your home directory. If one doesn’t exist, create it. Then, following the instructions on the repo page, write the following to the file:

vimrc config

As you can see I’ve simplified it from the repo’s README. You can put exactly what the README has if you wish. I’ve also changed the ‘rtp’ variable reference to use ‘$HOME’instead of ‘~’ to make sure that there are no other issues. You may also notice that Vundle is itself a plugin.​Once the file has been saved, run vim and then run the vim command ‘:PluginInstall’. A window will open in vim to list all of the plugins installed.


At the moment we only have Vundle and Helptags listed. We wish to download and install a few plugins. Enter ‘:PluginSearch’ to bring up a list of plugins we can choose from. Without any keywords specified, it will list all of the plugins available.

vim Plugin list

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Errors Have Occurred

If you have come across the following set of errors when starting vim, you may not have installed it correctly.

Install Error

This happened to me because I specified the destination as “Vundle.git” instead of “Vundle.vim” when cloning. Therefore, it couldn’t find the plugin specified. Make sure that it is pointing to the correct destination.

Help Document

Entering ‘:h vundle’ will open a new window that contains all the information about running vundle, installing and removing plugins, looking for plugins, and many more.

Vundle help

At this point, we can skip to section 3 as we’ve already configured Vundle. If we look at configuring plugins, we can do different things here. One thing we can do is specify the name of the folder that the local copy of the plugin will reside in. Extra parameters are parsed as dictionaries or JSON format.

Vundle help plugins

Useful information can be learned by perusing this document so do take the time to read it.


Vundle makes managing plugins for vim a lot easier by providing an interface to install and configure a plugin. This guide is a brief overview of Vundle to get you started. You’ve seen what happens when Vundle is not installed or referenced correctly. Installation of plugins will be much less tedious with Vundle.

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