I use Vim from this ppa


which includes netrw v156

How can I update to a newer netrw

--> Do I have to remove netrw installed
--> Can I simply install a newer netrw in .vim/plugins and this will take precedence over the system-wide one?


1 Answer 1


Newrw is distributed as a Vimball. After you download the new version, move netrw.vba.gz to ~/.vim. Then open it with vim, e.g.,

$ vim netrw.vba.gz

You will see this message at the bottom of the screen:

***vimball*** Source this file to extract it! (:so %)

Execute :so % and the plugin files will be extracted into the autoload, doc, plugin and syntax subdirectories of your ~/.vim directory. The next time you start Vim, it will automatically use the new version of netrw. You don't have to do anything with old version of netrw.

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