Vimpire – a Clojure environment for Vim

Vimpire is the undead body of VimClojure which returned into the Clojuresphere.

                          .'     '.
                         ; __   __ ;
                         |/  \ /  \|
                       |\| -- ' -- |/|
                       |(| \o| |o/ |)|
                       _\|     >   |/_
                    .-'  | ,.___., |  '-.
                    \    ;  V'-'V  ;    /
                     `\   \       /   /`
                       `\  '-...-'  /`
                         `\  / \  /`
                    jgs    `\\_//`

Vimpire is not intended to be an easy to use Clojure IDE, but a plugin to make life easier for people already familiar with Vim. So you should be familiar with Vim and/or Java. Eg. Vimpire won't help you in any way to set up a correct classpath! This is the responsibility of the build system of the given project. So before using the dynamic server make yourself comfortable with Clojure, the JVM and Vim.


The plugin is ready to be used as a package. Regarding package managers you'll have to figure things out yourself.

It uses channels, so you'll need a Vim 8 or later.

On the Clojure side, you have to provide a socket repl. That means either Clojure 1.8 or you'll have to backport the functionality yourself.

Here be Dragons

After starting Vim and ideally before editing Clojure code you have to start the backend server connection.

    :VimpireBite <host>:<port>

No further setup is required. The backend part of Vimpire is completely zero config and self contained. Also, there is no conflict of several Vimpire instances connecting to the same backend server. They share code in case of being of the same version. Otherwise they are completely separated.

When you got fangs, the connection is ready. Be aware that the first connect is slow, because things have to be prepared like starting the side-loader and injecting the venom. Don't bother me with trivial nonsense like “start-up time.”


I created a small set of short demos:


  • Hey, I'd like nifty feature X to be supported!<br> Have fun implementing it. I'll support in providing extension points to reuse Vimpire's infrastructure, but I don't care about including it in Vimpire itself.

  • Hey, why are there no default bindings set up?<br> Obviously the opinions are too different on this one. So pick your own style.

  • Hey, why is my repl messed up when I delete the prompt?<br> Because it's a buffer and not a terminal.

  • Hey, why is the namespace loaded when I open a file? I got toplevel commands!<br> Don't have toplevel commands. Put them in a (defn main …) and use clj -m to run the script. Starting the rockets on the toplevel is bad style. There are exceptions. I don't optimise for exceptions.

  • Hey, your plugin sucks because X! <br> Then don't use it.


The ASCII art was taken from here. Take care. It tries to play a midi.

Meikel Branmdeyer <>
Erlensee, 2018