I keep my VIM folder under git version control. I use git submodules and Pathogen to keep my VIM plugins updated. The folder structure is .vim/bundle/$PLUGIN

Is it possible to use git submodules for syntax files? With plugins this works because each plugin corresponds to the submodule repository in its own folder. As far as I can tell syntax files cannot be in sub-folders (arising from the cloned git submodule repository) within .vim/syntax and this approach breaks down.

Is there any way to resolve this?

  • I would consider syntax files not shipped with Vim (which are not minor adjustments kept in an after directory) to be syntax plugins. You should be able to load them the way you do other plugins. Are you using Pathogen?
    – jjaderberg
    Sep 2, 2016 at 15:22
  • Oops, yes, I meant pathogen when I wrote bundle. Can you elaborate on "You should be able to load them the way you do other plugins."? Thanks! Sep 2, 2016 at 15:46
  • This vim (syntax) plugin has a pathogen installation example: github.com/octol/vim-cpp-enhanced-highlight - so you basically install it similar to other plugins.
    – VanLaser
    Sep 2, 2016 at 21:24

1 Answer 1


Plugin managers like Pathogen add each subdirectory of .vim/bundle/ to the 'runtimepath'. If a syntax plugin has the proper syntax/foo.vim (or after/syntax/foo.vim) structure in its repository, it will work just like regular plugins (which need to use the plugin/ and autoload/ subdirs).

You can use the :scriptnames command to see what Vim actually loaded, and check the runtimepath via :set rtp?

  • Thanks, this works! Unfortunately my score is too low to up-vote as well. Sep 5, 2016 at 10:07

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