On unix, you can do something like this:

$NVIM_LISTEN_ADDRESS=/some/path nvim

On Windows, that does not work. What is the equivalent?

My use case is detailed out here: https://github.com/mhinz/neovim-remote/pull/74

Essentially, neovim-remote needs to be able to start an nvim process with the NVIM_LISTEN_ADDRESS variable set on Windows. So far, I have tried the "obvious" thing of just repeating what the Unix syntax is, but that doesn't work. I have also looked at the startup options available by typing in nvim.exe --help, but none of the options seem relevant to me.

  • Just stating your question will not fetch you much help, tell more about the task you're trying to accomplish and the steps you have taken to do so. Jan 20, 2018 at 8:27
  • @Ashok alright, I have updated it. I am not sure how helpful it will actually be in helping you understand my use case, because the use case is literally just "how do I set NVIM_LISTEN_ADDRESS as a startup option on Windows?". Please ask questions for clarification if I have still not been clear enough!
    – bzm3r
    Jan 20, 2018 at 18:42

2 Answers 2


You can use set to set an environment variable for the current Command prompt window, so the following is a slightly closer equivalent to your Unix command than setting the environment variable globally in the GUI:

set NVIM_LISTEN_ADDRESS=/some/path
  • 3
    Worth mentioning that the "path" on Windows must be a named pipe, which must start with \\.\pipe\... prefix. See :help serverstart(), which shows an example. Any running Nvim instance on Windows will also show an existing pipe in v:servername . Aug 20, 2018 at 18:18

You can temporarily set the environment variable NVIM_LISTEN_ADDRESS to point to a file of interest. Then, any nvim process that is started will have that as its listen address. Thus, you don't need to pass it in as an option to the program (and in fact, the unix code I shared in the question probably does not do that).

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