Vim Remote Make

Remote Make

So I’m in a class that requires that I use a linux VM to edit code. Since we are sharing this VM between all of the group members, I don’t want to jump on there and throw my vim config and stuff on the machine. Instead, I’ve been mounting the remote filesystem with sshfs and editing files remotely, but then I have to run make outside of vim to get any sort of compiler errors. I realized that I could probably run make remotely with a script and use makeprg to run that script, then get errors in vim (maybe even get syntastic to call the remote make or something?), and that takes a little bit of tweaking but it works nicely.

Here’s how I did it.


ssh cs423@$REMOTE_HOST "cd ~/$1 && make"  2>&1 | sed -e "s|$oldpath|$newpath|g"

This script runs the make program remotely (makes lots of assumptions about directory structure, but that’s totally fine). Then it pipes the output through sed to replace all the paths make spits out on the remote machine with the paths on the local machine, so that vim can open the files with errors correctly. If you don’t replace the pathnames, vim will try to open the wrong files and fail to jump to the errors you wanted it to jump to.

Then, from vim, open a file you need to edit, run :set makeprg=423make\ MP2 (if I wanted to build something in /home/cs423/MP2), and then run :make to build the program remotely. The make program will populate the quickfix window, which you can open with :copen.

Next step might be trying to get syntastic to run my remote make, but I’m anxious about the inevitable slow make every time I save the file. Since I’m using neovim I can also use the wonderful neomake plugin to run builds asynchronously and populate quickfix.

avoiding sshfs

After using this for a few hours on a less than stellar internet connection, I got a little tired of sshfs dropping my connections, so I added two more “scripts” to this mix.


rsync -a cs423@$REMOTE_HOST:/home/cs423/$1/ ~/programming/cs423/sync/$1/


rsync -a ~/programming/cs423/sync/$1/ cs423@$REMOTE_HOST:/home/cs423/$1/

Then, in vim:

:autocmd BufWrite * :Dispatch! 423push MP2

so files get pushed back (via rsync) anytime I write. Again, could have used neomake for the asynchronous behavior (instead of dispatch), but the dispatch solution is slightly easier to type.