I'm writing a Fortran parallel code using MPI. I mapped ctrl-C to run make, in order to compile the program with proper options and dependencies. I also mapped ctrl-< to run the program executing the command mpirun -np 8 program, but this is limiting, since it runs the program on 8 processes. I would like to map the command so that I can press ctrl-< and then type n enter to run the program on n processes.

  • 1
    What range are you looking for for n? Will it ever be more than one-digit long?
    – DJMcMayhem
    Commented Jun 24, 2016 at 20:55
  • Yes, it will be!
    – Enlico
    Commented Jun 25, 2016 at 7:38

2 Answers 2


Try this:

function! Mpirn()
  let n = nr2char(getchar())
  exe "!mpirun -np ".n." program"

nnoremap <C-c> :<C-u>call Mpirn()<cr>

(Note, I had trouble mapping to <C-<> so I left it mapped to <C-c> You can change this to whatever mapping you already have.)

Pretty straightforward answer. Takes a single number as input, and runs that command. If you ever need to run this with a two digit or more number, you can do this instead:

function! MpirnArg(n)
  exe "!mpirun -np ".a:n." program"

nnoremap <C-c> :<C-u>call MpirnArg(v:count)<cr>

However, the way you call this is in reverse. e.g, 17<C-c> Rather than <C-c>17

Also, I'm not familiar with fortran or MPI, so I don't know if 0 is valid. If 0 is not valid, change that last mapping to this:

nnoremap <C-c> :<C-u>call MpirnArg(v:count1)<cr>

Otherwise, you can leave it the same.

  • I come back to this question to ask for an explanation on a particular: why is <C-u> needed here?
    – Enlico
    Commented Jul 16, 2016 at 14:54
  • 1
    @EnricoMariaDeAngelis I personally have never run into issues while not using <C-u>. It's just kindof a "best practice" that I have learned and try to stick to. Essentially, it clears the command line before running, just in case vim inserts :'<,'> or something else. A better explanation is found here
    – DJMcMayhem
    Commented Jul 16, 2016 at 14:58

I think what you're looking for is v:count. You can use this in your mapping to see what number was entered before the mapping was pressed. From :h v:count:

:map _x :echo "the count is " . v:count

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