How I can launch gvim with servername for filetype tex?

What I am looking for is something like:

au filetype tex vim --servername "SERVERNAME"

I understand that it directly not possible, as vimrc is not loaded. But is there any other way?

Right now I'm using a shell alias to do this, but I'd like to get it working as a Vim plugin.

  • Have you deleted the answer?
    – BaRud
    Commented Jan 1, 2017 at 22:42

1 Answer 1


Unfortunately this isn't really possible; not without some hackery anyway.

  1. --servername has to be given as a commandline parameter, it can't be set later (v:servername is read-only).
  2. Vim has no facility to restart itself with different parameters (e.g. like exec() function family in C).

The best you can do it to start Gvim from within Gvim with:

:execute ':!gvim --servername xxx ' . join(argv())

This has the problem of having two Gvim processes though (and thus Gvim windows); you'll will have to :q twice and the second Gvim will complain about swap files if the files are open in the first Gvim.

You can somewhat work around with with something like:

fun! RestartVim()
    " Only run this if servername is empty or the default
    if v:servername == '' || v:servername =~ '^gvim'
        " Only run for gvim, since this version doesn't work well with Vim
        if !has("gui_running")

        " Close all buffers; prevents swap warnings
        bufdo bdelete

        " Run the second gvim
        execute ':!gvim --servername xxx ' . join(argv()) . ' &'

        " Quit the first Vim instance

augroup tex_restart
    autocmd Filetype tex call RestartVim()
augroup end

I didn't extensively test this, and will probably have a caveat or two.

This version also won't work very well with regular Vim inside a terminal. Running vim with & won't work well since it won't be attached to the terminal, and I can't really think of a solution to prevent two vim processes.

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