I am using Vundle on Windows gVim. I have a plugin that I am writing myself called hotdogstand that is stored in my local filesystem at vimfiles\hotdogstand, and it is not tied to a Github repository. How do I load this plugin in Vundle? I tried using:

Plugin 'file:///Users/snrub/vimfiles/bundle/Vundle.vim/hotdogstand/colors'

But the Vundle log gives the following error:

[2016-09-30 11:50:22] Plugin file:///Users/snrub/vimfiles/bundle/Vundle.vim/hotdogstand
[2016-09-30 11:50:22] $ git clone --recursive "file:///Users/snrub/vimfiles/bundle/Vundle.vim/hotdogstand" "C:\Users\snrub\vimfiles\bundle\Vundle.vim\hotdogstand"
[2016-09-30 11:50:22] > Cloning into 'C:\Users\snrub\vimfiles\bundle\Vundle.vim\hotdogstand'...
[2016-09-30 11:50:22] > fatal: 'C:/Users/snrub/AppData/Local/Programs/Git/Users/snrub/vimfiles/bundle/Vundle.vim/hotdogstand' does not appear to be a git repository
[2016-09-30 11:50:22] > fatal: Could not read from remote repository.
[2016-09-30 11:50:22] > 
[2016-09-30 11:50:22] > Please make sure you have the correct access rights
[2016-09-30 11:50:22] > and the repository exists.
[2016-09-30 11:50:22] > 

Even if I go into File Explorer and create the C:/Users/snrub/AppData/Local/Programs/Git/Users/snrub/vimfiles/bundle/Vundle.vim/hotdogstand folder and place my vim files in there, I still get the "does not appear to be a Git repository" error.

  • 1
    So have you made this directory a git repository? According to the errors you get that would solve the problem. (See git-init)
    – statox
    Sep 30, 2016 at 16:34

4 Answers 4


Below left is downloaded zip format of a plugin, right is created by 'get clone https://plugin/path' command in Git Bash.
Left is equivalent to the plugin you wrote locally. Although the plugin itself is the same, 'get clone' command will also create .git directory which contains git repo files.
enter image description here If install the left side plugin, Vundle will complain "does not appear to be a git repository". So you need to create your own local git repo.

Install latest git from https://git-scm.com/download
cd to your plugin directory
Type git init.
Type git add to add the files (see the typical use page).
Type git commit.

More details can be found in https://kbroman.org/github_tutorial/pages/init.html
Once local git repo is created, you can install it with Plugin 'file:///home/gmarik/path/to/plugin'.


From the Vundle README and from :h vundle-faq too:

" git repos on your local machine (i.e. when working on your own plugin)
Plugin 'file:///home/gmarik/path/to/plugin'

Add these lines to your vimrc and then manage the plugin as the other ones with :PluginInstall and sisters commands.


If you are not using git to manage the plugin you are developing, you can use the pinned option. I myself use this option for a plugin which I could only obtain as a zip archive Plugin 'vim-specky', { 'pinned': 1 }. I downloaded the zip file and extracted it under ~/.vim/bundle and added this line in my ~/.vimrc and things are working fine.

From the docs of Vundle:

The 'pinned' option

A flag that, when set to a value of 1, tells Vundle not to perform any git
operations on the plugin, while still adding the existing plugin under the
`bundles` directories to the |runtimepath|.

For example:
  Plugin 'mylocalplugin', {'pinned': 1}

This allows the users to include, with Vundle, plugins tracked with version
control systems other than git, but the user is responsible for cloning and
keeping up to date. It also allows the users to stay in the current version of
a plugin that might have previously been updated by Vundle.

I just made this mistake! :-)

Plugin 'file:///Users/jamesjones/src/github/burnttoast256/colors'

Plugin 'file:///Users/jamesjones/src/github/burnttoast256'

You want to point to the root of the git repo for your plugin, not a subdirectory within your repo, ie where the .git directory is.


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.