Vim Tips Wiki
Tip 910 Printable Monobook Previous Next

created 2005 · complexity basic · author Matthias Ihrke · version 5.7

I often have a local working copy of a remote directory tree (e.g. a website) and sometimes I want to transfer some minor changes to a file very fast (e.g. when updating a webpage).

You can do this by simply typing :Upload while editing a file using the following line in vimrc:

:command Upload :! %;

The file must be in your PATH:

#!/usr/bin/env python
import os, sys

# cmd parsing
if len(sys.argv)>1 and os.path.isfile(sys.argv[1]): file=sys.argv[1]
else: print "Usage: <file>"; sys.exit()

# can be overridden by environment variables

# override defaults with environment variables
if os.getenv('UPLOAD_MODE'): mode = os.getenv('UPLOAD_MODE')
if os.getenv('UPLOAD_SERVER'): server = os.getenv('UPLOAD_SERVER')
if os.getenv('UPLOAD_USER'): user = os.getenv('UPLOAD_USER')
if os.getenv('UPLOAD_REMOTE_ROOT'): remote_root = os.getenv('UPLOAD_REMOTE_ROOT')
if os.getenv('UPLOAD_LOCAL_ROOT'): local_root = os.getenv('UPLOAD_LOCAL_ROOT')

# add other modes here
if mode=='scp':
  if not os.getcwd().startswith(local_root): print 'file not in %s'%local_root; sys.exit()
  else: ext_path=os.path.join(os.getcwd().replace(local_root, remote_root), file)
  cmd = 'scp %s %s@%s:%s'%(file, user, server, ext_path)
  failure = os.system(cmd)
  if failure: print "Running %s failed..."%cmd

You will have to specify your server, your directory on the server, the user on the server and the local directory root which is corresponding to the remote directory.

You can specify the location either in the script, or as environment variables as export UPLOAD_REMOTE_ROOT=/some/directory

If the file you are editing is in the specified local directory or one of its subdirectories, the script will automatically upload it to the correct location.

Of course this is only of use if you have one major directory on one major server. If you have data on multiple servers, this script won't help, since you always have to specify the server and the corresponding directories.


Use netrw (distributed with Vim) for this type of operation. See :help netrw.

Using netrw, Vim keeps a local copy of the document in your temp folder.

You can use a procedure like the following to use short names to access hosts.

Add following lines to .ssh/config

Host short
Hostname very.long.hostname
User username
Port 12345 # if you really need it

Host another
Hostname another.very.long.hostname
User different_username

Now try this:

vim scp://short/~/path/to/file

The ~ is your home folder (usually you keep files here).