Compiling vim with python3 support

First Get checkinstall. It will allow us to install vim in an ordered fashion. If we ever want to remove this vim version, we could do it easily. (As opposed to just doing "make install", and then you are on your own if you want to remove this program in the future).

sudo apt-get install checkinstall

We also need mercurial, to be able to download vim's source:

sudo apt-get install mercurial

Next we get some packages that might be needed for the compilation process:

sudo apt-get install python-dev python3-dev ruby ruby-dev
libx11-dev libxt-dev libgtk2.0-dev libncurses5 ncurses-dev

Now get the lateset version of vim:

hg clone vim

Next we configure: (Note that here one should choose if he wants to have python3 support or python 2 support. Because of some limitations it is not possible to have both of them.)

./configure \
--enable-perlinterp \
--enable-python3interp \
--enable-rubyinterp \
--enable-cscope \
--enable-gui=auto \
--enable-gtk2-check \
--enable-gnome-check \
--with-features=huge \
--enable-multibyte \
--with-x \
--with-compiledby="xorpd" \
--with-python3-config-dir=/usr/lib/python3.4/config-3.4m-x86_64-linux-gnu \

Next we compile:


Now it is a good time to test the result. Don't install it yet, because you might still want to fix some things.

make test

Even if all the tests passed, make sure that you do have python3 support. Go to the src folder (./vim/src), and invoke the new vim binary from there.


Then invoke inside vim:

:echo has('python3')

If you get 1, it's all good.

We install the package using:

sudo checkinstall

Of some strange reason, I have to change the name of the package to something which is not "vim". "vim74_compiled" will do, for example. (If I don't change it, I get an error message from checkinstall).

Finally, we create a shortcut:

sudo ln -s /opt/vim74/bin/vim /usr/bin/vim

Happy vimming!

More tips regarding this subject could be found here on the following links: (Much of the information that could be found in this article relies on the information from those links)

vim's documentation
Hulk Angry Hulk Smash's blog