How to install Neovim on Ubuntu 20.04

Neovim is the best open-source code editor because of its speed, ease of customization, and text config you can store in Git. It’s an cross-platform application available for Microsoft Windows, macOS, and Linux. This code editor is a forked version of Vim.

Neovim’s software architecture was redesigned to be more extensible and could process task in multi-thread fashion. It is a hyperextensible text editor and seeks to maximize usability and extensibility, simplify maintenance and encourage contributions.

Key Features of Neovim

  • Modern GUIs
  • Embedded, scriptable terminal emulator
  • Shared data (shada) among multiple editor instances
  • Compatible with most Vim plugins, including Ruby and Python plugins
  • API access from any language including C/C++, C#, Clojure, D, Elixir, Go, Haskell, Java, JavaScript/Node.js, Julia, Lisp, Lua, Perl, Python, Racket, Ruby, Rust
  • Asynchronous job control
  • XDG base directories support

This article explains two methods of installing Neovim on Ubuntu 20.04.

Choose the installation method that is most appropriate for your environment.

Method 1: Installing Neovim as a Snap Package

The easiest way to install Neovim on Ubuntu 20.04 is by using the snap packaging system.

A snap package is a type of universal Linux package that you can enjoy irrespective of the distro. Its an self-contained software packages that include the binary all dependencies needed to run the application.

All you need is the snap service pre-configured, In the case of Ubuntu 20.04, it comes with snap pre-installed.

If snapd package is not already installed then you can install it by running following command.

$ sudo apt install snapd

Note: Snap packages can be installed from either the command-line or via the Ubuntu Software application.

This is actually the Snap version of the Neovim. It can be used on any Linux distribution that has Snap support.

Open your terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and type the following command to install the Neovim package.

$ sudo snap install nvim --classic

At this step, you have successfully installed Neovim on Ubuntu 20.04 system.

If you are not comfortable with the command line, open Ubuntu Software, search for “Neovim” and install the application.

Type the following command to update Neovim package.

$ sudo snap refresh nvim

Method 2: Installing Neovim from Ubuntu apt repository

Neovim is included in Ubuntu 20.04. Follow the step by step guide to install the application.

Step #1

Type the following command to update the apt sources.

$ sudo apt update

Step #2

Now execute this command to install the Neovim package.

$ sudo apt install -y neovim

With the help of && you can write both the commands in a single line. Something like this:

$ sudo apt update && sudo apt install -y neovim

That’s It.

Starting Neovim

In the Activities search bar type “Neovim” and click on the icon to launch the application.

Neovim User Interface:

How to Uninstall Neovim from Ubuntu 20.04

For some reason, If you want to uninstall Neovim, refer following methods.

Method #1

If you have installed Neovim via Snap type the following command:

$ sudo snap remove nvim

Method #2

If you have installed the application from default ubuntu apt respository then uninstall by running the below command:

$ sudo apt remove neovim


I hope that now you have a good understanding of How to install Neovim on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa.

If anyone does have any questions about what we covered in this guide then feel free to ask in the comment section below and I will do my best to answer those.

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