Neovim Lua Usage

A lightweight neovim plugin to quickly run a snippet of code (in the context of the current file you’re editing) without ever leaving neovim. Gives you a slight boost in productivity by helping you automate parts of your development workflow. Has a pretty cool integration with telescope

Table of contents


It’s hard to do justice to this plugin by explaining what it does, in text form. Watch the demo here.


Use you favorite plugin manager. If you use vim-plug, add this to your init.vim / init.lua

Plug 'arjunmahishi/flow.nvim'


This is still a work in progress. So, PRs are welcome and appreciated. As of now, this plugin can do the following things

Command Description
:FlowRunSelected Run code that is visually selected
:FlowRunFile Run the entire file
:FlowLauncher Launches a telescope interface to manage custom commands. Read the docs here
:FlowRunLastCmd Run the previously executed custom command
:FlowLastOutput Show the output of the last run command
:FlowRunQuickCmd Run a shell command without saving it

Custom commands

Custom commands are snippets of code you can map to an alias to access and run them easily. Custom commands can be created using either :FlowSetCustomCmd or FlowLauncher. :FlowLauncher uses a nice telescope interface which makes it easy to manage the commands. So, :FlowLauncher is recommended over :FlowSetCustomCmd.

Running :FlowSetCustomCmd <alias> launches a special buffer which allows you to create a custom command snippet. This buffer automatically closes on saving. This remains same even if you are using :FlowLauncher. Once the command snippet is saved, it is available to be executed using the alias you have mapped it to.

Custom variables

Custom commands, at the end of the day, are executed using the shell. So, here’s a list of ENV variables that are available to use while writing the command snippets.

Variable Value
pwd the directory where vim/nvim was launched
curr_file the path of the current file you are editing

The intention of this is to give the command snippets some context of the code you are currently writing. You can create some of your own variables by declaring them in the plugin configuration (refer to the configuration examples below)

Find the docs for :FlowLauncher here


require('flow').setup {
    output = {
        buffer = true,
        size = 80, -- possible values: "auto" (default) OR 1-100 (percentage of screen to cover)
        focused = true,
        modifiable = false,

        -- window_override = {
        --   border = 'double',
        --   title = 'Output',
        --   title_pos = 'center',
        --   style = 'minimal',
        --   ...
        -- }

    -- add/override the default command used for a perticular filetype
    -- the "%s" you see in the below example is interpolated by the contents of
    -- the file you are trying to run
    -- Format { <filetype> = <command> }
    filetype_cmd_map = {
        python = "python3 <<-EOF\n%s\nEOF",

    -- optional DB configuration for running .sql files/snippets (experimental)
    sql_configs = require('flow.util').read_sql_config('/Users/arjunmahishi/.db_config.json')

    -- configure a directory for storing all the custom commands
    custom_cmd_dir = "/Users/arjunmahishi/.flow_cmds"

-- optional custom variables
    str = "test-val-2",
    num = 3,
    bool = true,
    var_with_func = function()
        -- the value of this var is computed by running this function at runtime
        return "test-val"
Attributes Default Description
output {} Configuration for how the output is presented
filetype_cmd_map {} add/override the default command used for a particular filetype
sql_configs nil optional DB configuration for running .sql files/snippets (experimental)

output options

Option Default Description
buffer true Whether to print the output in a floating buffer or not. If this option is set to false, the output will be shown in the command window
size auto auto or 1-100 (percentage of screen to cover)
focused true If this is set to false, the focus will be set back to your current working window
modifiable false If this is set to true, the output buffer will be editable
window_override {} You can override one or more attributes of the output window config. This can work in conjunction with size. Check the available parameters in :help api-win_config
split_cmd (deprecated) vsplit Configure how the output buffer should be created. For now, only split buffers are supported. Possible values for this option are split, vsplit, nsplit, nvsplit. Where n is the hight/width of the split buffer

Sample dB config file

⚠️ This is still experimental


     "type": "postgres",
     "user": "postgres",
     "password": "password",
     "host": "localhost",
     "port": "5432",
     "db": "flow_nvim_test_db"

Some useful key bindings

-- paste this in your init.lua

vim.api.nvim_set_keymap('v', '<leader>r', ':FlowRunSelected<CR>', {})
vim.api.nvim_set_keymap('n', '<leader>rr', ':FlowRunFile<CR>', {})
vim.api.nvim_set_keymap('n', '<leader>rt', ':FlowLauncher<CR>', {})
vim.api.nvim_set_keymap('n', '<leader>rp', ':FlowRunLastCmd<CR>', {})
vim.api.nvim_set_keymap('n', '<leader>rp', ':FlowLastOutput<CR>', {})

OR (in vim script)

" paste this in your init.vim

vmap <leader>r :FlowRunSelected<CR>
nmap <leader>rr :FlowRunFile<CR>
nmap <leader>rt :FlowLauncher<CR>
nmap <leader>rp :FlowRunLastCmd<CR>
nmap <leader>ro :FlowLastOutput<CR>

If you have any questions about how to use the plugin or need help understanding the code, feel free to get in touch on twitter