Vim documentation: remote

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*remote.txt*    For Vim version 6.3.  Last change: 2003 Nov 10

		  VIM REFERENCE MANUAL    by Bram Moolenaar

Vim client-server communication				*client-server*

1. Common functionality		|clientserver|
2. X11 specific items		|x11-clientserver|
3. MS-Windows specific items	|w32-clientserver|

{Vi does not have any of these commands}


1. Common functionality					*clientserver*

When compiled with the |+clientserver| option, Vim can act as a command
server.  It accepts messages from a client and executes them.  At the same
time, Vim can function as a client and send commands to a Vim server.

The following command line arguments are available:

    argument			meaning	

   --remote [+{cmd}] {file} ...					*--remote*
				Open the file list in a remote Vim.  When
				there is no Vim server, execute locally.
				There is one optional init command: +{cmd}.
				This must be an Ex command that can be
				followed by "|".
				The rest of the command line is taken as the
				file list.  Thus any non-file arguments must
				come before this.
				You cannot edit stdin this way |--|.
				The remote Vim is raised.  If you don't want
				this use
				 vim --remote-send "<C-\><C-N>:n filename<CR>"

   --remote-silent [+{cmd}] {file} ...			*--remote-silent*
				As above, but don't complain if there is no
				server and the file is edited locally.

   --remote-wait [+{cmd}] {file} ...				*--remote-wait*
				As --remote, but wait for files to complete
				(unload) in remote Vim.

   --remote-wait-silent [+{cmd}] {file} ...		*--remote-wait-silent*
				As --remote-wait, but don't complain if there
				is no server.

   --servername {name}		Become the server {name}.  When used together
				with one of the --remote commands: connect to
				server {name} instead of the default (see

   --remote-send {keys}		Send {keys} to server and exit.

   --remote-expr {expr}		Evaluate {expr} in server and
				print the result on stdout.

   --serverlist			Output a list of server names.


Edit "file.txt" in an already running GVIM server:
    gvim --remote file.txt

Edit "file.txt" in an already running server called FOOBAR:
    gvim --servername FOOBAR --remote file.txt

Edit "file.txt" in server "FILES" if it exists, become server "FILES"
    gvim --servername FILES --remote-silent file.txt

This doesn't work, all arguments after --remote will be used as file names:
    gvim --remote --servername FOOBAR file.txt

Edit file "+foo" in a remote server (note the use of "./" to avoid the special
meaning of the leading plus):
    vim --remote ./+foo

Tell the remote server "BLA" to write all files and exit:
    vim --servername BLA --remote-send '<C-\><C-N>:wqa<CR>'


By default Vim will try to register the name under which it was invoked (gvim,
egvim ...).  This can be overridden with the --servername argument.  If the
specified name is not available, a postfix is applied until a free name is
encountered, ie. "gvim1" for the second invocation of gvim on a particular
X-server.  The resulting name is available in the servername builtin variable
|v:servername|.  The case of the server name is ignored, thus "gvim" and
"GVIM" are considered equal.

When Vim is invoked with --remote, --remote-wait or --remote-send it will try
to locate the server name determined by the invocation name and --servername
argument as described above.  If an exact match is not available, the first
server with the number postfix will be used.  If a name with the number
postfix is specified with the --servername argument, it must match exactly.

If no server can be located and --remote or --remote-wait was used, Vim will
start up according to the rest of the command line and do the editing by
itself.  This way it is not necessary to know whether gvim is already started
when sending command to it.

The --serverlist argument will cause Vim to print a list of registered command
servers on the standard output (stdout) and exit.

Win32 Note: Making the Vim server go to the foreground doesn't always work,
because MS-Windows doesn't allow it.  The client will move the server to the
foreground when using the --remote or --remote-wait argument and the server
name starts with "g".


The --remote argument will cause a |:drop| command to be constructed from the
rest of the command line and sent as described above.
The --remote-wait argument does the same thing and additionally sets up to
wait for each of the files to have been edited.  This uses the BufUnload
event, thus as soon as a file has been unloaded, Vim assumes you are done
editing it.
Note that the --remote and --remote-wait arguments will consume the rest of
the command line.  Ie. all remaining arguments will be regarded as filenames.
You can not put options there!


								*E240* *E573*
There are a number of Vim functions for scripting the command server.  See
the description in |eval.txt| or use CTRL-] on the function name to jump to
the full explanation.

    synopsis				     explanation 
    remote_expr( server, string, idvar)      send expression
    remote_send( server, string, idvar)      send key sequence
    serverlist()			     get a list of available servers
    remote_peek( serverid, retvar)	     check for reply string
    remote_read( serverid)		     read reply string
    server2client( serverid, string)	     send reply string
    remote_foreground( server)		     bring server to the front

See also the explanation of |CTRL-\_CTRL-N|.  Very useful as a leading key
The {serverid} for server2client() can be obtained with expand("<client>")


2. X11 specific items					*x11-clientserver*

				    *E247* *E248* *E251* *E258* *E277*

The communication between client and server goes through the X server.  The
display of the Vim server must be specified.  The usual protection of the X
server is used, you must be able to open a window on the X server for the
communication to work.  It is possible to communicate between different

By default, a GUI Vim will register a name on the X-server by which it can be
addressed for subsequent execution of injected strings.  Vim can also act as
a client and send strings to other instances of Vim on the same X11 display.

When an X11 GUI Vim (gvim) is started, it will try to register a send-server
name on the 'VimRegistry' property on the root window.

A non GUI Vim with access to the X11 display (|xterm-clipboard| enabled), can
also act as a command server if a server name is explicitly given with the
--servername argument.

An empty --servername argument will cause the command server to be disabled.

To send commands to a Vim server from another application, read the source
file src/if_xcmdsrv.c, it contains some hints about the protocol used.


3. Win32 specific items					*w32-clientserver*

Every Win32 Vim can work as a server, also in the console.  You do not need a
version compiled with OLE.  Windows messages are used, this works on any
version of MS-Windows.  But only communication within one system is possible.

Since MS-Windows messages are used, any other application should be able to
communicate with a Vim server.  An alternative is using the OLE functionality

When using gvim, the --remote-wait only works properly this way:

	start /w gvim --remote-wait file.txt
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