Trying to set up a new VM, I copied over my dotfiles and they weren't working. I've reduced my init.lua to something very simple. All it has is,

vim.opt.tabstop = 2

Yet, when I start up vim, nothing happens. Tabstop isn't set. I get no error nor warning. Moreover, if I try to set it with

:luado("vim.opt.tabstop = 2")

I get,

E5109: Error while creating lua chunk: [string ""]:1: syntax err or near 'end'

And if I try to run init.lua again,

E5112: Error while creating lua chunk: /home/user/.config/nvim/init.lua:1: unexpected symbol near '<ef>'

Any idea on what the problem is here, and how to fix it?

1 Answer 1


Requires Neovim 0.5 or newer

I was trying to run init.lua on the Neovim in Debian Bullseye, which at this time is v0.4.4. The Neovim in Debian Bookworm is 0.7.2. I didn't realize this VM I set up was on Buster and not Bookworm.

The patch to add support for init.lua went in Dec 1, 2020, while Debian Buster had the soft-freeze at 2019-02-12

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.