I am using Vim on Ubuntu for Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL). After updating all components involved (Vim, fzf, Ubuntu), the :Buffers command stopped working. Note that :Files, :Lines, etc. work as before. :Buffers returns the following error message: "Error running cat '/tmp/vGxjQKM/6'|'fzf' '+m' '-x' '--tiebreak=index' '--header-lines=1' '--ansi' '-d' '\t' '--with-nth' '3..' '-n' '2,1..2' '--prompt' 'Buf> ' '--query' '' '--preview-window' '+{2}-5' '--preview-window' 'right' '--preview' ''''/home/xxxx/.vim/bundle/fzf.vim/bin/preview.sh''' {1}' --expect=ctrl-v,ctrl-x,ctrl-t --height=28 > /tmp/vGxjQKM/5"

I have tried with a "empty" vimrc file (https://github.com/junegunn/fzf/issues/939), but that did not help. Clean install of Ubuntu (and the required packages) did not change anything. I also found this, suggesting an issue with certain versions of the kernel (https://github.com/junegunn/fzf/issues/1486). But as mentioned, :Files work, so I am not sure if it applies.

Not having :Buffers really disrupts my workflow, so any help would be greatly appreciated.

My setup: Windows 10, Version 1903, WSL 2 Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS, Kernel: 4.19.128-microsoft-standard VIM - Vi IMproved 8.1 (Included patches: 1-2269) fzf: 0.20.0

  • 1
    create a ticket at fzf plugin Commented Oct 14, 2020 at 9:05
  • and update fzf binary to the latest 0.23 (?)
    – Maxim Kim
    Commented Oct 14, 2020 at 9:31
  • Thanks, I will probably create a ticket there as well. Keeping this though, as the problem may well be with something else than fzf itself. Also updated fzf to 0.23, no change. Commented Oct 14, 2020 at 9:59
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    Whoever is ultimately responsible for this, tell them that generic errors that don't even mention the active program much less details of the error that occurred ("Error running foo"...What error?! Why are you hiding it from me? And who are you anyways?) are not helpful.
    – B Layer
    Commented Oct 14, 2020 at 17:52
  • @ned_zeppelin: FWIW, I'm working on a fuzzy search plugin. In particular, it provides a mapping SPC fr to fuzzy search a recent file or open buffer. It doesn't have any dependency; in particular, it doesn't need fzf(1) nor cat(1). However, it only works on a recent Vim version (at least 8.2.1744). In case you don't find a solution to your issue, I could try to extract the code relevant to this mapping only, and maybe adapt some part of it, so that it better emulates :Buffers.
    – user938271
    Commented Oct 15, 2020 at 11:12

1 Answer 1


Turns out it was my vimrc after all, I just hadn't cleaned up the plugin folders properly when testing this previously. Thanks for your responses!

  • Could you please give more details about how you fixed the issue? I'm facing the same problem.
    – Biggybi
    Commented Oct 17, 2020 at 14:42
  • Try starting vim like this: vim -Nu <(curl gist.githubusercontent.com/junegunn/…) If :Buffers works with that command, it's your vimrc file. You could start by removing any plugin-folders etc., and comment out everything in your vimrc. Then uncomment step by step to see what breaks it. Commented Oct 17, 2020 at 18:08
  • I was expecting for your specific config problem, just in case I had the same, before going through the steps you describe. However, a FZF update fixed the error for me.
    – Biggybi
    Commented Oct 24, 2020 at 23:04

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