I am running the latest version of nvim on the latest version of arch.

I have this bash one liner which works as intended

echo; lpstat -p | sed 's/printer //g' | sed 's/is idle.  enabled since.*//g'; echo"

I wish to assign the above command to a keyboard shortcut within nvim and run it within nvim so that it drops the result within the currently open nvim text file

Here is what I have in .vimrc

nnoremap <leader><leader>p :!echo; lpstat -p | sed 's/printer //g' | sed 's/is idle.  enabled since.*//g'; echo

but it does not work

How do I wrap the bash command up so it is treated as a one liner then get it to drop the result into the open text file at the cursor?

  • 1
    Well, first look at :h :r!.
    – B Layer
    Commented Dec 5, 2021 at 12:06
  • 2
    "Does not work" doesn't help me much. Why don't you start with just part of your shell command and build it up a bit at a time until you find what's causing problems. Because the basic form of :nnoremap XX :r!shell-cmd is valid.
    – B Layer
    Commented Dec 5, 2021 at 12:15
  • 1
    thanks. Brackets gone. Error is E492: Not an editor command: sed 's/printer //g' | sed 's/is idle. enabled since.*//g'; echo. Think it is looking at | and wants <bar> so may be is seeing it as a vim vcommand and not bash.
    – Kes
    Commented Dec 5, 2021 at 12:18
  • 2
    Try escaping the pipes... \|.
    – B Layer
    Commented Dec 5, 2021 at 12:19
  • 1
    Thanks escaping the | with \| did it.
    – Kes
    Commented Dec 5, 2021 at 12:21

1 Answer 1


Here is the solution. What I needed to do was

  1. insert an r to read the result of the bash one liner into the current file, and
  2. escape the two occurances of | with \|
" below gets current list of printers  
nnoremap <leader><leader>p :r !echo; lpstat -p \| sed 's/printer //g' \| sed 's/is idle.  enabled since.*//g'; echo<cr>
  • 1
    Another approach could be to use your shell to define an alias for that whole lpstat command, and then your nnoremap command wouldn't need to escape as many characters.
    – alxndr
    Commented Dec 7, 2021 at 23:39
  • Thanks. I thought it might be some escaping or white space problem so initially set-up an alias printer_list="command here" within .bash_aliases but for some reason it did not work. Probarly something to do with my config. I beleive it should have worked. But I got it working within .vimrc anyways. Thanks.
    – Kes
    Commented Dec 9, 2021 at 0:28

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