Launch MacVim from the Mac OS X Terminal

Written by Michael Lee on July 7, 2014

MacVim is a great complement to Vim for the Mac. One of the reasons why I started using MacVim was its built in support for the yank command to copy to the system’s clipboard.

To get a copy of MacVim, you can grab the latest snapshot here.

When you download a snapshot of MacVim, you’ll find a compressed file that includes, mvim (a command-line tool) and a README file.

One of the great things about using vim is that you can simply type vim to open a file in vim from within the terminal.

Out of the box, MacVim doesn’t have support for opening a file from the command-line like vim does, but mvim cli enables us to do the same thing.


After installing MacVim by dragging to the Applications folder, open up terminal and navigate to the uncompressed folder that has mvim.

Then we’re going to move the mvim file to /usr/local/bin by typing in this command from the terminal:

mv mvim /usr/local/bin/

Now whenever you’re in Terminal and want to open a file with mvim simply type:


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