How to Install Neovim on Fedora 39/38/37 Linux

For those looking to optimize their text editing experience on Fedora Linux, Neovim offers a compelling solution. As an open-source evolution of the classic Vim text editor, Neovim provides new and seasoned users with enhanced features and usability. This guide will walk you through how to install Neovim on Fedora Linux, ensuring a seamless transition to this powerful tool.

Neovim’s standout attributes include:

  • Enhanced User Experience: Neovim integrates sought-after features, such as asynchronous I/O, job control, and a plugin API, making it more user-friendly than its predecessor.
  • Extensibility and Compatibility: Neovim boasts a modern architecture but remains compatible with Vim. This ensures a smooth transition as Vim plugins and configurations work without hitches in Neovim.
  • Active Community: A vibrant community backs Neovim, contributing to its continuous development, updates, and solutions.
  • Easy Configuration: Setting up Neovim is straightforward. Users can configure using Vimscript or Lua, offering flexibility in personalization.

Neovim aims to build on Vim’s strengths, catering to its dedicated user base and inviting newcomers. By the end of this guide, you’ll be well-equipped to harness Neovim’s capabilities, enhancing your coding and text editing experience.

Section 1: Install Neovim via DNF on Fedora Linux

Step 1: Update Fedora’s Packages

It’s always a good idea to begin installation by updating your system’s existing packages. This ensures you’re not installing new software on an outdated system, which can sometimes lead to compatibility issues.

To update your Fedora system, open your terminal and enter the following command:

sudo dnf upgrade --refresh

This command updates all of your currently installed packages and refreshes your system’s repositories to ensure the latest versions are available for installation.

Step 2: Install Neovim

You can proceed with the Neovim installation now that your system is up-to-date. To install Neovim from Fedora’s DNF repository, input the following command:

sudo dnf install neovim

Upon running this command, DNF will fetch Neovim from its repository and handle the installation for you.

Section 2: Install Neovim via Flatpak and Flathub on Fedora Linux

Step 1: Enable Flathub Repository

We will install Neovim using Flatpak with the Flathub repository in this method. Flatpak is a universal package manager for Linux, making application distribution easier across various Linux distributions.

First, you need to add the Flathub repository to your system. To do this, type in the following command:

sudo flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub

Despite adding the repository, sometimes it can be automatically disabled. To ensure that the repository is enabled, run the following command:

flatpak remote-modify --enable flathub

Step 2: Install Neovim via Flatpak on Fedora Linux

With the Flathub repository enabled, you can now proceed to install Neovim. To do so, input the following command:

flatpak install flathub io.neovim.nvim

Upon running this command, Flatpak will retrieve the Neovim package from Flathub and handle the installation process for you.

Section 3: Starting Neovim on Fedora Linux

The installation process is just the beginning of your Neovim experience. Once it’s installed, you can launch the program in several ways. We will explore two methods: through the Command Line Interface (CLI) and the Graphical User Interface (GUI).

Method 1: Launching Neovim via CLI

Starting Neovim from the command line is an efficient way to access the text editor. Here’s how:

Standard Installation

If you installed Neovim using Fedora’s DNF repository, you can start it with the following command:


Flatpak Installation

If you installed Neovim using Flatpak, the command will be slightly different. This is due to the nature of Flatpak’s isolated environments. To launch Neovim installed via Flatpak, use the following command:

flatpak run io.neovim.nvim

Method 2: Launching Neovim via GUI

Neovim can also be accessed via the Fedora desktop environment if you prefer to use a graphical interface. Follow the steps below:

  1. Open the Activities overview by clicking on the ‘Activities’ option in the top left corner of your desktop.
  2. Click on ‘Show Applications’ located at the bottom of your screen.
  3. Now, you will see a grid of all the installed applications. Scroll through them or use the search bar at the top to find Neovim.
  4. Click on the Neovim icon to start the application.

Each method has its advantages. Using the CLI is fast and fits well into a keyboard-centric workflow. On the other hand, navigating through the GUI might feel more intuitive, mainly if you’re used to graphical environments. Both lead you to the same destination: a session of Neovim, ready for your commands.

Screenshot demonstrating how to launch Neovim using the GUI method on Fedora Linux.Pin
A practical screenshot showcasing the GUI method to launch Neovim on Fedora Linux.

Section 4: Essential Tips for Getting Started with Neovim on Linux

Navigating Neovim can seem daunting at first glance due to its text-based interface and many commands. However, these tips should help smoothen your entry into using this powerful text editor on your Linux system.

Understand the Modes

One of the essential aspects of using Neovim (or any Vim-based editor) is understanding its modal nature. Here are the key modes:

  • Normal mode: This is the default mode where you can execute commands.
  • Insert mode: In this mode, you can insert text into your document.
  • Visual mode: This mode allows you to select lines or blocks of text.
  • Command-line mode: You can enter Vim commands and search for patterns here.

To switch between these modes, you’ll use specific keys. For instance, pressing i in Normal mode will switch you to Insert mode, and pressing Esc will always take you back to Normal mode.

Learn Basic Commands

Even though Neovim supports many commands, knowing a few basic ones can help you easily navigate and edit your documents.

  • To save a file, type :w and hit Enter.
  • To exit Neovim, type :q and hit Enter.
  • To save and exit at the same time, type :wq and hit Enter.

Enable Line Numbers

To make your coding and editing tasks easier, consider enabling line numbers. In Normal mode, enter the following command:

:set number

This will enable line numbers for that session. To make this a permanent change, add the above command to your Neovim configuration file (~/.config/nvim/init.vim).

Customize Your Neovim Environment

You can customize your Neovim environment to suit your preferences. The ~/.config/nvim/init.vim configuration file can be modified to include your settings. For instance, if you want to change the color scheme, you can add the following line:

:colorscheme desert

There are numerous other customizations available, ranging from plugins to syntax highlighting.

Use Neovim Plugins

One of Neovim’s strengths is its extensible nature. You can use plugins to add functionality to your editor. To manage your plugins, consider using a plugin manager like vim-plug. You can then add your plugins to your configuration file and use the :PlugInstall command to install them.

Screenshot of Neovim successfully launched on a Fedora Linux system.Pin
A live example of what Neovim looks like when launched on Fedora Linux.

Section 5: Managing Neovim on Fedora Linux

Maintaining up-to-date software tools and ensuring that unneeded applications are removed cleanly from your system are critical aspects of efficient Linux system management. This section will examine how to update or uninstall Neovim on Fedora Linux.

Updating Neovim on Fedora Linux

Consistently keeping your applications up-to-date is necessary to retain the system’s security and benefit from the latest features and improvements. While you may get update notifications, we recommend manually checking for updates regularly.

Updating via DNF

You can refresh your repositories and update all your installed packages, including Neovim, by executing the following command in the terminal:

sudo dnf update --refresh

Updating via Flatpak

For those who have installed Neovim via Flatpak, you can update it using this command:

flatpak update

Uninstalling Neovim on Fedora Linux

If, for any reason, you wish to remove Neovim from your Fedora system, you can achieve this by executing a few simple commands. Please ensure that you use the correct command corresponding to the method you used for the initial installation.

Uninstallation via DNF

To uninstall Neovim that was installed via DNF and also remove any unused packages leftovers from the application, run the following command:

sudo dnf remove neovim

Uninstallation via Flatpak

If you had installed Neovim through Flatpak, you can uninstall it with the following command:

flatpak remove --delete-data io.neovim.nvim -y

Note that this command will also delete your personal data related to Neovim, so ensure you’ve backed up any essential files before proceeding.

Conclusion and Final Thoughts

In conclusion, Neovim represents a solid choice for developers looking for a modern and efficient text editor. This article guided you through installing Neovim on Fedora Linux, demonstrating DNF and Flatpak methods. You also learned how to launch the program through the command line and GUI, plus valuable tips for working with Neovim. Managing the software, including updating and uninstalling, was also covered. We recommend staying updated with Neovim versions for optimal performance and security. Remember, Linux is all about making the system work best for you, and knowing how to manage your applications effectively is a vital part of that journey.

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