Why I Switched to Neovim from VSCode, and how did you configure Neovim?
A detailed guideline on why you switch VScode and How to install neovim, customization, and configuration.
3 min read
Table of contents
Vscode has a big community worldwide; everybody uses it as a default IDE. It is suitable for beginners and pro developers using Windows, macOS, or Linux. It works on every operating system. The problem starts when you work in front-end development, and your application has many components and installs many packages. It is very obese for a front-end developer; we need so many packages to build a front-end infrastructure of a website.
When I started front-end development, I never thought I would start researching the vscode alternative someday because Vscode solves everything for the developer.
The problem started in 2022 when I started my open-source journey. Every person or developer uses typescript for built a new project. The typescript is essential for the future, and vscode, as an advanced IDE, comes with inbuilt typescript support. I decide to use typescript for the open-source template. I built a few templates with nextjs, typescript, markdown, and vscode and installed some other npm packages for my open-source template. My development stack is growing. My VScode IDE often crashes; it is frustrating to open VScode, File, and terminal again and start the local development server. It takes time and effort to start working with VScode.
When I started researching, I found a few people complaining about vscode and some significant issues with vscode, which I discussed.
- Vs-code consumes a lot of RAM.
- Working Typescript, React, nextjs, Tailwind CSS, MUI, Vscode, or some other npm package vscode sometimes start it crash or does not open file or tabs.
- Install the package with yarn, or the npm terminal will stop working. Some, times terminal does not open and crashes.
These are the significant issues I regularly face with vscode; I start researching the best alternative and work with low resources ( RAM). I found neovim is a good alternative to vscode. neovim is IDE based on vim. Vim is a highly configurable text editor built for a pro developer.
Why did I choose neovim?
There are two strong reasons behind choosing neovim.
- Highly customized and configurable
- Neovim works with low RAM and does not crash or lack.
Is true customization and configuration hard in neovim?
Yes, the true configuration and customization of Neovim is hard. neovim uses the lua language for writing configuration (script). That is the main reason for beginner developers, who never count on a common language and start customizing the neovim IDE. It is very hard.
What is the solution for neovim customization and configuration?
Now many solutions (libraries) are available to customization and configuration the neovim according to your requirement. Suppose you are a pro or beginner developer. It works for everyone, and you do not need to learn the lua language.
I find three libraries that help, and every library has good documentation and video tutorial available on youtube.
Currently, I'm using lazyvim. Every libraries have easy installation guidelines for every developer who can run and install the program with a command line. That person easily installs both libraries.
I already published an article on how to install neovim in Debian.You can read it. https://officialrajdeepsingh.dev/how-to-install-neovim-ide-in-raspberry-pi-4-and-ubuntu.html
What is my experience with neovim as the default IDE?
I have been using neovim since the last month. Firstly I think it is the wrong decision. If you change the IDE, you must learn every keyboard command, like opening a terminal, toggling the file menu, etc. I understand the basics of keyboard commands in two days because lazyvim has a great document.
For beginner developers, my suggestion is first to watch the tutorial on youtube and start slowly every day, spend a little time playing with neovim, and then switch permanently to neovim.
How much is neovim fast?
The neovim speed is based on your typing speed. I never feel slow and hand; it does not hang like vscode. I tested with MUI, typescript, tailwind css,nextjs, and Zod, and even though my laptop is only 8GB ram, opening the same large project with vscode takes too much time with neovim; I never felt that.
Neovim is a good fit for front-end developers; it consumes fewer resources than vscode. vscode UI takes too many times to open IDE. In neovim working, you never need a mouse. Everything you need is a keyboard.
If you know the basics of the lua language, you take 30 minutes to learn the basics of the lua language, and you do not need the advanced concept of lua to configure neovim.