Step-by-Step Guide to Use Vim as a Modern Python IDE

Vim is a powerful free, open-source code editor that can be used for Python development. It is a full-featured text editor with lots of configurable options and an easy-to-use interface. There are many plugins available that help you turn Vim into a full-featured Python IDE with powerful completion and debugging features. This guide will show you how you can use Vim as a modern Python IDE.

Steps to Get Up and Running with Vim and Python

Step 1: Installation of Vim

The first step is to get hold of a copy of Vim, which can be done through the official website at You can download the latest version of Vim for your operating system, be it Linux, Mac, or Windows.

Step 2: Configure Vim with Python Plugins

Once you have installed Vim, you need to configure it to support Python development. Start by opening Vim and typing in the command :PluginInstall. This will open a list of popular plugins that can be installed. Scroll down to the Python section and select the relevant plugins. Once you have selected the plugins, press ‘Enter’ to finish the installation.

Step 3: Install AutoPep8

AutoPep8 is a popular plugin for Python development that helps with code formatting. To install it, open a command prompt and type in the command pip install autopep8. This will download and install the plugin.

Step 4: Configure the Python Interpreter

Vim allows you to work directly with Python by connecting to an existing Python interpreter on your machine. To set this up, open your .vimrc file and add the following lines:

let g:python3_host_prog = '/usr/local/bin/python3'
let g:syntastic_python_checkers = ['flake8', 'autopep8']

Adjust the paths in the above commands to reflect the locations of the Python interpreter and the plugins on your machine.

Step 5: Enable Syntastic for Syntax Checking

Syntastic is a Vim plugin that enables syntax checking for various languages. To enable Syntastic for Python, open your .vimrc file and add the following line:

let g:syntastic_python_checker='autopep8'

This will enable Syntastic to use AutoPep8 to check your Python code.


What is Vim?

Vim is a powerful, open-source code editor that can be used for Python development. It has a streamlined interface and a wide range of plugins that extend its functionality to make it more suitable for Python development.

How do I get started with Vim and Python?

To get started with Vim and Python, you will first need to install Vim and configure it with the relevant Python plugins. You will also need to install AutoPep8 and configure the Python interpreter. Finally, you will need to enable Syntastic for syntax checking.

Does Vim support debugging?

Yes, Vim supports debugging with the help of the Python Debugger plugin. This plugin enables you to execute your code step-by-step to diagnose and debug errors.

Are there any tutorials available for learning Vim and Python?

Yes, there are several tutorials available that show you how to get started with Vim and Python. You can find links to some of these tutorials here:

Does Vim support code completion?

Yes, Vim supports code completion with the help of the YouCompleteMe plugin. This plugin provides an advanced code completion system that can suggest completion options as you type.

Great! You’ve successfully signed up.

Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.

You've successfully subscribed to

Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.

Success! Your billing info has been updated.

Your billing was not updated.