Hey, I’m Parker.

Creator of music, photography, and (mostly open) software.

Installing Command-T With OS X Maverick's Built-In Vim

I was fortunate enough to, just today, pick up a new computer. My first hardware in over 4 years, I had been holding off. Once my trusty MacBook Pro bit the dust last night and I found out the repair cost was extraordinary, I bit the bullet.

So, you're probably in a similar place. You relatively recently got a shiny new Macintosh and you're so excited to start writing code and making a difference with those skillz of yours. Except one this is missing: Command-T.

Lucky for you, sir, I am here to help. OS X Maverick's built-in vim distribution comes with Ruby support already (which it needs for Command-T) so you're good there. Now you need to download and compile Command-T. Should be easy, right? Well, not quite.

Mavericks was notable for Ruby users because it ships with Ruby 2.0. All previous versions that I had ever used shipped with 1.8.7 so this was a huge bonus. Problem is, your pre-installed vim wasn't compiled with 2.0.0, it was compiled with 1.8.7.

To check this, run the following in vim in NORMAL mode:


For me, that output 1.8.7-p358. So that means the Ruby verison that vim is using is 1.8.7-p358, and we need to compile Command-T with that version. To do so, install it:

$ rbenv install 1.8.7-p358

Boom! Now download and install Command-T:

$ git clone https://github.com/wincent/Command-T.git ~/.vim/bundle/Command-T
$ cd ~/.vim/bundle/Command-T # for tpope's Pathogen
$ rbenv local 1.8.7-p358
$ rbenv rehash
$ gem install bundler
$ bundle install
$ bundle exec rake make

Aaaaand boom, you're done. Open up vim and type your leaderkey then t (for me, that's ,t) to launch the prompt.

If you get a weird SIGTERM error when you launch vim, then you installed Command-T with the wrong Ruby version. Remove ruby/command-t/ext.bundle and try again.