When I edit file:


I would like to start terminal at:


With Vim version > 8 I can run :terminal but it always starts at folder in which I've opened Vim (which is /home/me/projects/myproj)

How can I do this?

4 Answers 4


I am grateful to @statox for useful hints, but as I don't wont to change current dir each time I come to following:

map <F6> :let $VIM_DIR=expand('%:p:h')<CR>:terminal<CR>cd $VIM_DIR<CR>
  • I don't quite get why this doesn't work for me; typing :echo $VIM_DIR outputs the correct directory, but the command fails :(
    – Krish
    Commented Mar 12, 2021 at 20:33
  • 1
    @Krish How to debug a mapping might help.
    – statox
    Commented Apr 16, 2021 at 13:53
  • 2
    @Krish try :terminal<CR>Acd $VIM_DIR<CR> in Neovim atleast, terminal opens up in normal mode, so you get into insert mode first (a/i/A/I) to type in the rest of the command Commented Jan 20, 2022 at 3:22
  • Is there a way to do this as a command instead of as a mapping?
    – Thayne
    Commented Oct 18, 2022 at 20:21
  • @Thayne here is what i have in my vimrc for neovim. (replace terminal with shell for vim, also don't need the A<CR> i don't think): command Cdot normal! :lcd%:h<CR>:terminal<CR>A<CR>
    – John Huynh
    Commented Mar 2, 2023 at 23:00

See :h :cd and :h :lcd.

:cd changes the current directory for all the windows while :lcd changes the current directory for the current window.

You can change the current directory to the directory containing the current file with:

:cd %:p:h

And you can use set autochdir in your .vimrc to change the current working directory whenever you open a file, switch buffers, delete a buffer or open/close a window. It will change to the directory containing the file which was opened or selected. (see :h 'autochdir')

Also note that the doc mentions that autochdir may break some plugin and this wikia page suggests the following autocommand to replace this setting:

autocmd BufEnter * silent! lcd %:p:h
  • 1
    Note that when a local directory is in use for the current window, it's best to avoid :cd. When exists('*haslocaldir') && haslocaldir() is true, always use :lcd. Otherwise, we have the choice. Commented Dec 13, 2017 at 13:29
  • 2
    Put it all together: split | lcd %:h | terminal ++curwin. May want to wrap this up into a command. e.g. command! -nargs=* Terminal split | lcd %:h | terminal ++curwin <args> Commented Dec 13, 2017 at 16:03
  • @PeterRincker With the ++curwin option to `terminal, it seems to be passing the "++curwin" as an argument to my shell rathe rthan opening the terminal in the current window
    – Thayne
    Commented Oct 18, 2022 at 20:34
  • According to :h :term: ++curwin is a valid option. Is it possible you are using an older version of Vim or maybe Neovim? Commented Oct 19, 2022 at 20:30

Building on the other answers, in neovim, you can do:

command! LocalTerm let s:term_dir=expand('%:p:h') | below new | call termopen([&shell], {'cwd': s:term_dir })

(this assumes that your shell is a single command with no options)

  • 1
    this is neovim only Commented Oct 19, 2022 at 7:04
  • very helpful. I`m using project.nvim and just this answer worked for me. Commented Jan 17 at 9:09
  • I add |:startinsert to last for going to insert mode, how can I use <UP> arrow for getting the last termianl command? Commented Jan 17 at 9:59

You can use a Vim keymap with a single function. In my case, the leader is a space.

Short cut to open terminal Space+t.

What the Lua function does:

  1. It switches to directory of current file.
  2. Opens terminal on current file's directory.
  3. Switches to "insert" mode by itself.

The Lua function is as following:

vim.keymap.set("n", "<leader>t", function()
   vim.cmd("cd %:p:h")
  • This changes Vim's pwd, which as a side-effect is not present in other answers and might be worth highlighting as a tradeoff.
    – D. Ben Knoble
    Commented Sep 6, 2023 at 23:21

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