I have a script which performs some action and then pipes the stdout to Neovim so that I can look at it with syntax highlighting and do all the other nice things I can do with vim.

However, as this is a temporary file just used for inspecting the (possibly very long) output of the command, I almost never want to actually save the file. When I :q to exit, I get E37: No write since last change (add ! to override) as expected.

I've tried :set ro but I still get E37 when exiting. I could of course train myself to just use :q! for this particular scenario, but I'd rather come up with a better solution.

Is there some argument I can pass to nvim in my script that will prevent E37 when I :q?


You can use :set buftype=nowrite or :set buftype=nofile

From :help 'buftype':

nofile        buffer which is not related to a file and will not be
nowrite       buffer which will not be written


"nofile" and "nowrite" buffers are similar:
both:           The buffer is not to be written to disk, ":w" doesn't
                work (":w filename" does work though).
both:           The buffer is never considered to be 'modified'.
                There is no warning when the changes will be lost, for
                example when you quit Vim.
both:           A swap file is only created when using too much memory
                (when 'swapfile' has been reset there is never a swap
nofile only:    The buffer name is fixed, it is not handled like a
                file name.  It is not modified in response to a :cd
both:           When using ":e bufname" and already editing "bufname"
                the buffer is made empty and autocommands are
                triggered as usual for :edit.

In your case, it doesn't matter all that much which one you use.

  • This is exactly what I was looking for! Updated my script to pipe to nvim -c "set buftype=nofile" - and it works just the way I wanted it to.
    – Ben
    May 17 '17 at 14:05

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