Recently I decided to switch from Vundle to VimPlug, and I noticed that after installing it...

  • putting the plug.vim in my autoload directory ~/.vim/autoload/

  • and making sure that my vim and neovim was symbol linked so I didn't have to create a whole new set of directories just for neovim with this...

     ln -s ~/.vim ~/.config/nvim
     ln -s ~/.vimrc ~/.config/nvim/init.vim

I was still getting errors. It works perfectly in vim, but soon as I start up nvim I get these list of errors.

 Error detected while processing /home/username/.config/nvim/init.vim:
 line   26:
 E117: Unknown function: plug#begin
 line   28:
 E492: Not an editor command: Plug 'vim-airline/vim-airline'
 line   29:
 E492: Not an editor command: Plug 'vim-airline/vim-airline-themes'
 line   30:
 E492: Not an editor command: Plug 'scrooloose/nerdtree'
 line   31:
 E492: Not an editor command: Plug 'ctrlpvim/ctrlp.vim'
 line   32:
 E492: Not an editor command: Plug 'flazz/vim-colorschemes'
 line   34:
 E117: Unknown function: plug#end

This is the VimPlug section of my .vimrc

call plug#begin('~/.vim/plugged')

Plug 'vim-airline/vim-airline'
Plug 'vim-airline/vim-airline-themes'
Plug 'scrooloose/nerdtree'
Plug 'ctrlpvim/ctrlp.vim'
Plug 'flazz/vim-colorschemes'

call plug#end()

What am I doing wrong ?

  • It certainly looks like your runtimepath setting doesn't contain the right autoload folder (where plug#... functions are defined).
    – VanLaser
    Oct 29, 2016 at 13:10
  • @VanLaser Well the autoload folder is within the .vim symbolic link so I really don't see why its not being able to see it when it works just fine in vanilla vim. Plus my .vimrc is really tiny so I really don't see anything else that what would be conflicting with it.
    – PrimRock
    Oct 30, 2016 at 4:20
  • What's the output of running :set runtimepath? - check if your path is actually there or not.
    – VanLaser
    Oct 30, 2016 at 13:02
  • @VanLaser runtimepath=~/.config/nvim,/etc/xdg/nvim,~/.local/share/nvim/site,/usr/local/share/nvim/site,/usr/share/nvim/site,/usr/ share/nvim/runtime,/usr/share/nvim/site/after,/usr/local/share/nvim/site/after,~/.local/share/nvim/site/after,/etc/xdg/nv im/after,~/.config/nvim/after
    – PrimRock
    Oct 30, 2016 at 23:42
  • @VanLaser Nevermind I figured it out. I posted a answer
    – PrimRock
    Nov 1, 2016 at 13:17

2 Answers 2


For whatever reason it doesn't seem to see VimPlug with the first symbolic link I had in my post. This is the only plugin I couldn't get to work in neovim with it.

So instead of making a symbolic link of ~/.vim to ~/.config/nvim. I decided to make a symbolic link of ~/.vim to ~/.config/ (note that I'm truncating the nvim part).

So in terminal that will be ln -s ~/.vim ~/.config/

You'll see that it'll create a folder symbolic link called .vim rename it nvim

And then run this command ln -s ~/.vimrc ~/.config/nvim/init.vim

This will create a symbolic link of your .vimrc named init.vim inside that symbol link folder.

However, if you go to your vanilla .vim folder in your home directory you'll notice a init.vim there as well. DON'T delete this. Deleting this would result in the one you just created to get deleted, since putting a file in the folder your linking is basically putting it in that folder as well. This is the only way I got it to work without putting plug.vim in the nvim's system wide autoload folder.

  • 1
    Symlink seems to bork it for the autoload folder on OSX. cp -r .vim/autoload .config/nvim/ fixed it for me.
    – user15291
    Nov 28, 2017 at 12:45

Another possibility is that you lack permissions for the folder ~/.vim or ~/.vim/autoload. The problem you are talking about can also occur in this situation.

  • Welcome to Vi and Vim! You might improve the answer by editing to explain how to correct the permissions or why this causes the problem
    – D. Ben Knoble
    Mar 22, 2022 at 13:56

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