Vim documentation: pi_netrw

main help file

*pi_netrw.txt*  For Vim version 6.3.  Last change: Apr 21, 2004

		VIM REFERENCE MANUAL    by Charles E. Campbell, Jr.

*dav*		*http*		*network*	*rcp*		*scp*

*fetch*		*netrw*		*Nread*		*rsync*		*sftp*

*ftp*		*netrw.vim*	*Nwrite*	*netrw-file*


0. Contents						*netrw-contents*

1.  Netrw Reference.....................................|netrw-refYXXY
2.  Network-Oriented File Transfer......................|netrw-xferYXXY
3.  Activation..........................................|netrw-activateYXXY
4.  Transparent File Transfer...........................|netrw-transparentYXXY
5.  Ex Commands.........................................|netrw-exYXXY
6.  Variables and Options...............................|netrw-varYXXY
7.  Debugging...........................................|netrw-debugYXXY
8.  New Stuff...........................................|netrw-newYXXY
9.  Credits.............................................|netrw-creditsYXXY

The functionality mentioned here is done via using |standard-plugin|
techniques.  This plugin is only available if

	set nocp		    " 'compatible' is not set
	filetype plugin on	    " plugins are enabled

You can avoid loading this plugin by setting the "loaded_netrw" variable
in your <.vimrc> file:

	:let loaded_netrw = 1

{Vi does not have any of this}


1. Netrw Reference						*netrw-ref*

	let g:netrw_ftp =0 use ftp (default)		     (uid password)
			=1 use alternate ftp method	(user uid password)
	  If you're having trouble with ftp, try changing the value
	  of this variable in your <.vimrc> to change methods

	let g:netrw_ignorenetrc= 1
	  If you have a <.netrc> file but it doesn't work and you
	  want it ignored, then set this variable as shown.  Its mere
	  existence is enough to cause <.netrc> to be ignored.

	Controlling External Applications

	 Protocol  Variable	       Default Value
	 --------  ----------------    -------------
	   dav:    g:netrw_dav_cmd   = "cadaver"
	   fetch:  g:netrw_fetch_cmd = "fetch -o"
	   ftp:    g:netrw_ftp_cmd   = "ftp"
	   http:   g:netrw_http_cmd  = "fetch -o"   else if fetch is available
	   http:   g:netrw_http_cmd  = "wget -q -O"    If wget is available
	   rcp:    g:netrw_rcp_cmd   = "rcp"
	   rsync:  g:netrw_rsync_cmd = "rsync -a"
	   scp:    g:netrw_scp_cmd   = "scp -q"
	   sftp:   g:netrw_sftp_cmd  = "sftp"

	:Nread ?					give help
	:Nread "machine:file"				uses rcp
	:Nread "machine file"				uses ftp   with <.netrc>
	:Nread "machine id password file"		uses ftp
	:Nread "dav://machine[:port]/file"		uses cadaver
	:Nread "fetch://[user@]machine/file"		uses fetch
 :Nread "ftp://[user@]machine[[:#]port]/file" uses ftp autodetects .netrc
 :Nread "http://[user@]machine/file" uses http uses wget
	:Nread "rcp://[user@]machine/file"		uses rcp
	:Nread "rsync://[user@]machine[:port]/file"	uses rsync
	:Nread "scp://[user@]machine[[:#]port]/file"	uses scp
 :Nread "sftp://[user@]machine/file" uses sftp

	:Nwrite ?					give help
	:Nwrite "machine:file"				uses rcp
	:Nwrite "machine file"				uses ftp   with <.netrc>
	:Nwrite "machine id password file"		uses ftp
	:Nwrite "dav://machine[:port]/file"		uses cadaver
 :Nwrite "ftp://[user@]machine[[:#]port]/file" uses ftp autodetects .netrc
	:Nwrite "rcp://[user@]machine/file"		uses rcp
	:Nwrite "rsync://[user@]machine[:port]/file"	uses rsync
	:Nwrite "scp://[user@]machine[[:#]port]/file"	uses scp
 :Nwrite "sftp://[user@]machine/file" uses sftp
	http: not supported!

	Attempts to use ftp will prompt you for a user-id and a password.
	These will be saved in g:netrw_uid and g:netrw_passwd Subsequent uses
	of ftp will re-use those.  If you need to use a different user id
	and/or password, you'll want to call NetUserPass() first.

	:NetUserPass [uid [password]]		-- prompts as needed
	:call NetUserPass()			-- prompts for uid and password
	:call NetUserPass("uid")		-- prompts for password
	:call NetUserPass("uid","password")	-- sets global uid and password

	b:netrw_lastfile last file Network-read/written retained on
			  a per-buffer basis		(supports plain :Nw )
	s:netrw_line	  during Nw/NetWrite, holds current line   number
	s:netrw_col	  during Nw/NetWrite, holds current column number
			  s:netrw_line and s:netrw_col are used to
			  restore the cursor position on writes
	g:netrw_ftp	  if it doesn't exist, use default ftp
			  =0 use default ftp		       (uid password)
			  =1 use alternate ftp method	  (user uid password)
	g:netrw_ftpmode   ="binary"				    (default)
			  ="ascii"			     (or your choice)
	g:netrw_uid	  (ftp) user-id,      retained on a per-session basis
	g:netrw_passwd	  (ftp) password,     retained on a per-session basis
	g:netrw_win95ftp  =0 use unix-style ftp even if win95/win98/winME
			  =1 use default method to do ftp
	g:netrw_cygwin	  =1 assume scp under windows is from cygwin
							 (default if windows)
			  =0 assume scp under windows accepts
			    windows-style paths		 (default otherwise)
	g:netrw_use_nt_rcp=0 don't use the rcp of WinNT, Win2000 and WinXP (default)
			  =1 use the rcp of WinNT,... in binary mode


2. Network-Oriented File Transfer				*netrw-xfer*

Network-oriented file transfer under Vim is implemented by a VimL-based script
(<netrw.vim>) using plugin techniques.  It currently supports both reading
and writing across networks using rcp, scp, ftp or ftp+<.netrc>, scp, fetch,
dav/cadaver, rsync, or sftp.

http is currently supported read-only via use of wget or fetch.

<netrw.vim> is a standard plugin which acts as glue between Vim and the
various file transfer programs.  It uses autocommand events (BufReadCmd,
FileReadCmd, BufWriteCmd) to intercept reads/writes with url-like filenames.

	ex. vim ftp://hostname/path/to/file
The characters preceding the colon specify the protocol to use;
in the example, its ftp.  The <netrw.vim> script then formulates
a command or a series of commands (typically ftp) which it issues
to an external program (ftp, scp, etc) which does the actual file
transfer/protocol.  Files are read from/written to a temporary file
(under Unix/Linux, /tmp/...) which the <netrw.vim> script will
clean up.

One may modify any protocol's implementing external application
by settinbg a variable (ex. scp uses the variable g:netrw_scp_cmd,
which is defaulted to "scp -q").

Ftp, an old protocol, seems to be blessed by numerous implementations.
Unfortunately, some implementations are noisy (ie., add junk to the end
of the file).  Thus, concerned users may decide to write a NetReadFixup()
function that will clean up after reading with their ftp.  Some Unix systems
(ie., FreeBSD) provide a utility called "fetch" which uses the ftp protocol
but is not noisy and more convenient, actually, for <netrw.vim> to use.
Consequently, if "fetch" is executable, it will be used to do reads for
ftp://... (and http://...) .  See |netrw-var| for more about this.

For rcp, scp, sftp, and http, one may use network-oriented file transfers
transparently; ie.

	vim rcp://[user@]machine/path
	vim scp://[user@]machine/path
If your ftp supports <.netrc>, then it too can be just as transparently used
if the needed triad of machine name, user id, and password are present in
that file.  Your ftp must be able to use the <.netrc> file on its own, however.

	vim ftp://[user@]machine[[:#]portnumber]/path
However, ftp will often need to query the user for the userid and password.
The latter will be done "silently"; ie. asterisks will show up instead of
the actually-typed-in password.  Netrw will retain the userid and password
for subsequent read/writes from the most recent transfer so subsequent
transfers (read/write) to or from that machine will take place without
additional prompting.

  |  Reading			    | Writing			 |  Uses      |
  | DAV:			    |				 |	      |
  |  dav://host/path		    |				 | cadaver    |
  |  :Nread dav://host/path	    | :Nwrite dav://host/path	 | cadaver    |
  | FETCH:			    |				 |	      |
  |  fetch://[user@]host/path	    |				 |	      |
  |  fetch://[user@]host:http/path  |  Not Available		 | fetch      |
  |  :Nread fetch://[user@]host/path|				 |	      |
  | FILE:			    |				 |	      |
  |  file:///*			    | file:///*			 |	      |
  |  file://localhost/*		    | file://localhost/*	 |	      |
  | FTP:	  (*3)		    |		   (*3)		 |	      |
 |	ftp://[user@]host/path |	ftp://[user@]host/path | ftp *2 |
 | :Nread	ftp://host/path | :Nwrite	ftp://host/path | ftp+.netrc |
  |  :Nread host path		    | :Nwrite host path		 | ftp+.netrc |
  |  :Nread host uid pass path	    | :Nwrite host uid pass path | ftp	      |
  | HTTP: wget is executable: (*4)  |				 |	      |
 |	http://[user@]host/path | Not Available | wget |
  | HTTP: fetch is executable (*4)  |				 |	      |
 |	http://[user@]host/path | Not Available | fetch |
  | RCP:			    |				 |	      |
  |  rcp://[user@]host/path	    | rcp://[user@]host/path	 | rcp	      |
  | RSYNC:			    |				 |	      |
  |  rsync://[user@]host/path	    | rsync://[user@]host/path	 | rsync      |
  |  :Nread rsync://host/path	    | :Nwrite rsync://host/path  | rsync      |
  |  :Nread rcp://host/path	    | :Nwrite rcp://host/path	 | rcp	      |
  | SCP:			    |				 |	      |
  |  scp://[user@]host/path	    | scp://[user@]host/path	 | scp	      |
  |  :Nread scp://host/path	    | :Nwrite scp://host/path	 | scp	(*1)  |
  | SFTP:			    |				 |	      |
 | sftp://[user@]host/path | sftp://[user@]host/path | sftp |
 | :Nread sftp://host/path | :Nwrite sftp://host/path | sftp *1 |

	(*1) For an absolute path use scp://machine//path.

	(*2) if <.netrc> is present, it is assumed that it will
	work with your ftp client.  Otherwise the script will
	prompt for user-id and pasword.

	(*3) for ftp, "machine" may be machine#port or machine:port
	if a different port is needed than the standard ftp port

	(*4) for http:..., if wget is available it will be used.  Otherwise,
	if fetch is available it will be used.

Both the :Nread and the :Nwrite ex-commands can accept multiple filenames.

NETRC							*netrw-netrc*

The typical syntax for lines in a <.netrc> file is given as shown below.
Ftp under Unix usually support <.netrc>; Windows' ftp usually doesn't.

	machine {full machine name} login {user-id} password "{password}"
	default login {user-id} password "{password}"

Your ftp client must handle the use of <.netrc> on its own, but if the
<.netrc> file exists, an ftp transfer will not ask for the user-id or

	Since this file contains passwords, make very sure nobody else can
	read this file!  Most programs will refuse to use a .netrc that is
	readable for others.  Don't forget that the system administrator can
	still read the file!

PASSWORD						*netrw-passwd*

The script attempts to get passwords for ftp invisibly using |inputsecret()|,
a built-in Vim function.  See |netrw-uidpass| for how to change the password
after one has set it.

Unfortunately there doesn't appear to be a way for netrw to feed a password
to scp.  Thus every transfer via scp will require re-entry of the password.


3. Activation						*netrw-activate*

Network-oriented file transfers are available by default whenever
|'nocompatible'| mode is enabled.  The <netrw.vim> file resides in your
system's vim-plugin directory and is sourced automatically whenever you
bring up vim.


4. Transparent File Transfer				*netrw-transparent*

Transparent file transfers occur whenever a regular file read or write
(invoked via an |:autocmd| for |BufReadCmd| or |BufWriteCmd| events) is made.
Thus one may use files across networks as if they were local.

	vim ftp://[user@]machine/path


5. Ex Commands						*netrw-ex*

The usual read/write commands are supported.  There are also a couple of
additional commands available.

:[range]Nw	Write the specified lines to the current
		file as specified in b:netrw_lastfile.

:[range]Nw {netfile} [{netfile}]...
		Write the specified lines to the {netfile}.

		Read the specified lines into the current
		buffer from the file specified in

:Nread {netfile} {netfile}...
		Read the {netfile} after the current line.

:call NetUserPass()
		If b:netrw_uid and b:netrw_passwd don't exist,
		this function query the user for them.

:call NetUserPass("userid")
		This call will set the b:netrw_uid and, if
		the password doesn't exist, will query the user for it.

:call NetUserPass("userid","passwd")
		This call will set both the b:netrw_uid and b:netrw_passwd.
		The user-id and password are used by ftp transfers.  One may
		effectively remove the user-id and password by using ""


6. Variables and Options			*netrw-options* *netrw-var*

The script <netrw.vim> uses several variables which can affect <netrw.vim>'s
behavior.  These variables typically may be set in the user's <.vimrc> file:

	g:netrw_uid		Holds current user-id for ftp.
	g:netrw_passwd		Holds current password for ftp.
	b:netrw_lastfile	Holds latest method/machine/path.
	b:netrw_line		Holds current line number     (during NetWrite)
	b:netrw_col		Holds current cursor position (during NetWrite)
	g:netrw_ftp		=0 use default ftp	      (uid password)
				=1 use alternate ftp	      (user uid password)
				(see |netrw-options|)
	g:netrw_ftpmode		="binary"		      (default)
				="ascii"		      (your choice)
	g:netrw_ignorenetrc	=1			      (default)
				   if you have a <.netrc> file but you don't
				   want it used, then set this variable.  Its
				   mere existence is enough to cause <.netrc>
				   to be ignored.
	g:netrw_win95ftp	=0 use unix-style ftp even if win95/98/ME/etc
				=1 use default method to do ftp
	g:netrw_cygwin		=1 assume scp under windows is from cygwin
				=0 assume scp under windows accepts windows
				   style paths		      (default/else)
	g:netrw_use_nt_rcp	=0 don't use WinNT/2K/XP's rcp (default)
				=1 use WinNT/2K/XP's rcp, binary mode

The script will also make use of the following variables internally, albeit

	g:netrw_method		Index indicating rcp/ftp+.netrc/ftp
	g:netrw_machine		Holds machine name parsed from input
	g:netrw_fname		Holds filename being accessed


			   Protocol Control Options
    Option	      Type	  Setting	  Meaning ~
    ---------	      --------	  --------------  --------------------------- >
    netrw_ftp	      variable	  =doesn't exist  userid set by "user userid"
				  =0		  userid set by "user userid"
				  =1		  userid set by "userid"
    NetReadFixup      function	  =doesn't exist  no change
				  =exists	  Allows user to have files
						  read via ftp automatically
						  transformed however they wish
						  by NetReadFixup()
    g:netrw_dav_cmd    variable   ="cadaver"
    g:netrw_fetch_cmd  variable   ="fetch -o"
    g:netrw_ftp_cmd    variable   ="ftp"
    g:netrw_http_cmd   variable   ="fetch -o" else if fetch is executable
    g:netrw_http_cmd   variable   ="wget -O"  if      wget  is executable
    g:netrw_rcp_cmd    variable   ="rcp"
    g:netrw_rsync_cmd  variable   ="rsync -a"
    g:netrw_scp_cmd    variable   ="scp -q"
    g:netrw_sftp_cmd   variable   ="sftp"
The first two options both help with certain ftp's that give trouble otherwise.
In order to best understand how to use these options if ftp is giving you
troubles, a bit of discussion follows on how netrw does ftp reads.

The g:netrw_..._cmd variables specify the external program to use handle
the associated protocol (rcp, ftp, etc), plus any options.

Netrw typically builds up lines of one of the following formats in a
temporary file:

  IF g:netrw_ftp !exists or is not 1     IF g:netrw_ftp exists and is 1
  ----------------------------------     ------------------------------
       open machine [port]		      open machine [port]
       user userid password		      userid password
       [g:netrw_ftpmode]		      password
       get filename tempfile		      [g:netrw_ftpmode]
					      get filename tempfile
Netrw then executes the lines above by use of a filter:

	:%! {g:netrw_ftp_cmd} -i [-n]

	g:netrw_ftp_cmd is usually "ftp",
	-i tells ftp not to be interactive
	-n means don't use netrc and is used for Method #3 (ftp w/o <.netrc>)

If <.netrc> exists it will be used to avoid having to query the user for
userid and password).  The transferred file is put into a temporary file.
The temporary file is then read into the main editing session window that
requested it and the temporary file deleted.

If your ftp doesn't accept the "user" command and immediately just demands
a userid, then try putting "let netrw_ftp=1" in your <.vimrc>.

If your ftp for whatever reason generates unwanted lines (such as AUTH
messages) you may write a NetReadFixup(tmpfile) function:

    function! NetReadFixup(method,line1,line2)
      " a:line1: first new line in current file
      " a:line2: last  new line in current file
      if     a:method == 1 "rcp
      elseif a:method == 2 "ftp + <.netrc>
      elseif a:method == 3 "ftp + machine,uid,password,filename
      elseif a:method == 4 "scp
      elseif a:method == 5 "http/wget
      elseif a:method == 6 "dav/cadaver
      elseif a:method == 7 "rsync
      elseif a:method == 8 "fetch
      elseif a:method == 9 "sftp
      else		 " complain

The NetReadFixup() function will be called if it exists and thus allows
you to customize your reading process.  As a further example, <netrw.vim>
contains just such a function to handle Windows 95 ftp.  For whatever
reason, Windows 95's ftp dumps four blank lines at the end of a transfer,
and so it is desirable to automate their removal.  Here's some code taken
from <netrw.vim> itself:

    if has("win95") && g:netrw_win95ftp
     fu! NetReadFixup(method, line1, line2)
       if method == 3   " ftp (no <.netrc>)
	let fourblanklines= line2 - 3
	silent fourblanklines.",".line2."g/^\s*/d"


7. Debugging						*netrw-debug*

The <netrw.vim> script is typically available as:


which is loaded automatically at startup (assuming :set nocp).

	1. Get the <Decho.vim> script, available as:
		as "Decho, a vimL debugging aid"

	   and put it into your local plugin directory

	2. Edit the <netrw.vim> file as follows:


	   (to restore to normal, use  :DechoOff )

	3. Then bring up vim and attempt a transfer.  A set of messages
	   should appear concerning the steps that <netrw.vim> took in
	   attempting to read/write your file over the network.  Please
	   send that information to <netrw.vim>'s maintainer,

		drchipNOSPAM at - NOSPAM


8. New Stuff						*netrw-new* *netrw-newstuff*

       v43: * moved "Explanation" comments to <pi_netrw.txt> help file
	      as "Network Reference" (|netrw-ref|)
	    * <netrw.vim> now uses Dfunc() Decho() and Dret() for debugging
	    * removed superfluous NetRestorePosn() calls
       v42: * now does BufReadPre and BufReadPost events on file:///*
	      and file://localhost/*
       v41: * installed file:///* and file://localhost/* handling
       v40: * prevents redraw when a protocol error occurs so that the
	      user may see it
       v39: * sftp support
       v38: * Now uses NetRestorePosn() calls with Nread/Nwrite commands
	    * Temporary files now removed via bwipe! instead of bwipe
	      (thanks to Dave Roberts)
       v37: * Claar's modifications which test if ftp is successful, otherwise
	      give an error message
	    * After a read, the alternate file was pointing to the temp file.
	      The temp file buffer is now wiped out.
	    * removed silent from transfer methods so user can see what's


9. Credits						*netrw-credits*

	Vim editor	by Bram Moolenaar (Thanks, Bram!)
	dav		support by C Campbell
	fetch		support by Bram Moolenaar and C Campbell
	ftp		support by C Campbell <[email protected]> - NOSPAM
	http support by Bram Moolenaar <[email protected]> 
	rsync		support by C Campbell (suggested by Erik Warendorph)
	scp support by raf <[email protected]> 
	sftp		support by C Campbell

	inputsecret(), BufReadCmd, BufWriteCmd contributed by C Campbell

	Jérôme Augé		-- also using new buffer method with ftp+.netrc
	Bram Moolenaar		-- obviously vim itself, :e and v:cmdarg use, fetch,...
	Yasuhiro Matsumoto	-- pointing out undo+0r problem and a solution
	Erik Warendorph		-- for several suggestions (g:netrw_..._cmd
				   variables, rsync etc)
	Doug Claar		-- modifications to test for success with ftp operation

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