I use Gvim on Windows platforms on an hourly basis, and it really bothers me that I cannot make MacVim work properly when I need to move around with the MacBook Air. A bunch of things are going wrong on the OS X system:

  1. That there are a lot of MacVim.app left overs in my system, as follows. They are all accessible (I can open a file through any one of the following 5)

    enter image description here

  2. That the Vim opened through my Terminal is of a different version (Vim 8.0, 1-543).

  3. Worst still, I got Python compatibility issue across all versions of the MacVim and Vim. I have asked this compatibility issue in another post: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/46718585/using-vim-to-edit-r-script-why-python-keeps-complaining . To note,

    • I have solved the Python problem that has to do with R and Python script on my Windows machines. Detailed steps are in the link above.


  1. Can I delete the outdated MacVim.app's from my OS X system?
  2. How to let the Terminal use the correct version Vim? I may need to build the Vim + MacVim locally?
  3. Fundamentally, how to address this incompatibility issue? Based on my fix on Windows platforms, the errors are thrown when the "bit" version of Vim is not the same as the Python. Moving everything to 64-bit solves the problem even on a Windows machine. However, I don't even see a "bit"-version from either Vim builds on my Mac system: be it MacVim or Vim through Terminal.

1 Answer 1


First, you can certainly delete all the outdated version of MacVim leaving only the newest.

To run MacVim from the command line you need to call the mvim script which is in the app itself, somewhere like /Applications/MacVim.app/Contents/bin/mvim. The best way to do this is to use a bash alias in your .bash_profile file, alias mvim='/Applications/MacVim.app/Contents/bin/mvim

  • how to delete those *.app's, or they are not intruding at all? I don't see them at all from the Finder/Applications. And, how can I tell if the "bit"-versions of the macvim matches with the system's Python on board? Through the :version command on Vim, I don't see a "bit"-version; and from the Python, I can only see a "x86_64". (Does this mean that I have a 64-bit python?)
    – llinfeng
    Oct 15, 2017 at 15:09

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