I just installed Neovim v0.9.1 in a Debian 12 Bookworm Server system. I installed it from its homepage(github) using the .tar.gz method (nvim-linux64.tar.gz) I decompressed the archive in /home/user/Apps/Neovim/nvim-linux64/.

But whenever I use nvim I get this error:

E848: Can't open file /__w/neovim/neovim/build/nvim.AppDir/usr/share/nvim/syntax/syntax.nvim

And when I run :checkhealth command I get this error:

E5009: Invalid $VIMRUNTIME: __w/neovim/neovim/build/nvim.AppDir/usr/share/nvim

How can I solve this error?

I have found syntax.vim is located in /home/user/Apps/Neovim/nvim-linux64/share/nvim/runtime/syntax/ just where I installed NeoVim, but NeoVim is looking for it in another path. I tried copying syntax.vim to usr/share/nvim/syntax/syntax.vim but the errors still remains.

I tried setting the VIMRUNTIME with no success.


2 Answers 2


As suggested by @ChristianBrabandt you can add the following line at the start of your ~/.config/nvim/init.vim:

let $VIMRUNTIME='/home/user/Apps/Neovim/nvim-linux64/share/nvim'

I could fix this problem by linking the executable inside /home/user/Apps/Neovim/nvim-linux64/ with a symbolic link. Using hard links didn't work. If I called the program from inside /home/user/Apps/Neovim/nvim-linux64/ neovim worked without errors, but after creating a symbolic link pointing to /usr/bin I can use nvim from anywhere without a problem (E848: Can't open file /__w/neovim/neovim/build/nvim.AppDir/usr/share/nvim/syntax/syntax.nvim)

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