How to install latest version (0.9+) of Neovim on Debian instead of .deb and apt-get

Hello Vim newcomers and Debian users,

On the last tutorial, Neovim was on version 0.8.1 and had a .deb package in their latest releases. However, from version 0.9.0 onwards, it no longer publishes the .deb package because of maintenance burden.

This removal offered some alternatives: AppImage and Tarball (.tar.gz) package

Before the first step, I like to inform that the version of Neovim from

sudo apt list neovim -a

…is neovim/oldstable 0.4.4-1 amd64 so not all plugins you want may not work best.

If your Debian has this version of Neovim installed or from last tutorial’s version 0.8.1, no worries, leave it be.

In this tutorial, we will install both AppImage and Tarball package in separate directories and test if any of these apply the config we made in Bonus Step. If you have desired release, you can skip Step 0 and install on $HOME.

However for AppImage, I recommend creating a directory for extraction of AppImage later if you don’t have FUSE working.

Hope this tutorial helps and saves you from hours of Googling.

Step 0 (Optional). Create a directory for either AppImage or Tarball package and redirect to it. Convenient if done in home directory (cd $HOME)


mkdir nvim_appimage && cd "$_"


mkdir nvim_tarball && cd "$_"

Step 1. Download the AppImage or Tarball package from latest stable build of Neovim Github repository.


curl -L -O ""


curl -L -O ""

Step 2 (AppImage). Make the AppImage executable and try running it.

chmod u+x nvim.appimage && ./nvim.appimage --version

However if you get this error:

dlopen(): error loading 
AppImages require FUSE to run. 

You might still be able to extract the contents of this AppImage 
if you run it with the --appimage-extract option.

Run this:

sudo apt install fuse

or extract the AppImage and run instead:

./nvim.appimage --appimage-extract

Step 2 (Tarball). Extract the nvim-linux64.tar.gz

tar xzvf nvim-linux64.tar.gz

Then check the version:

./nvim-linux64/bin/nvim --version

Step 3. Create an alias for Neovim. We’ll use the directory created in Step 0 as an example. You can replace the directory inside single quotes to your desired executable. If you use Bash, change .zshrc to .bashrc.


echo -e "\nalias nvim9='/root/nvim_appimage/squashfs-root/AppRun'" >> ~/.zshrc


echo -e "\nalias nvim9='/root/nvim_tarball/nvim-linux64/bin/nvim'" >> ~/.zshrc

Run nvim9. Neovim is now on its latest version (v0.9.1).

Bonus Step

When you add plugins to .vimrc or .config/nvim/init.vim, you may encounter warnings like this:

This happened in Neovim 0.4.4-1. Here’s my setup.

For .config/nvim/init.vim: Obtained from :help nvim-from-vim

set runtimepath^=~/.vim runtimepath+=~/.vim/after
let &packpath = &runtimepath
source ~/.vimrc

For .vimrc: If you came from vimtutor, you may have this somewhere:

" Get the defaults that most users want.
source $VIMRUNTIME/defaults.vim

Add this if-else between source $VIMRUNTIME

" Get the defaults that most users want.
if !has('nvim')
    source $VIMRUNTIME/defaults.vim

Condition if it’s not running Neovim, Vim defaults will load. Here’s my vim-plug setup example in .vimrc:

call plug#begin(has('nvim') ? stdpath('data') . '/plugged' : '~/.vim/plugged')

if (has('nvim') && v:version > 500)
    Plug 'projekt0n/github-nvim-theme'
if has('nvim') || (!has('nvim') && v:version > 900)
    Plug 'github/copilot.vim'
if (has('nvim') && v:version > 400) || (!has('nvim') && v:version > 800)
    Plug 'neoclide/coc.nvim'

Plug 'preservim/nerdtree'
" rest of Plug's here.

call plug#end()

As you see, different plugins need minimum version of Vim or Neovim, take neoclide/coc.nvim for example. Its README says, “Make sure use vim >= 8.1.1719 or neovim >= 0.4.0.” The (!has('nvim') && v:version > 800) syntax is to ensure it is not running Neovim and the vim other than Neovim is running version higher than and not equal to 8.0.

The version scheming between these two Vims are different, check yours by typing :echo v:version from Normal mode. The 0.4.4 in Neovim could mean 404 and 8.2 in Vim could mean 802.

It works.