A language server for Bash

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Bash Language Server
Bash language server that brings an IDE-like experience for bash scripts to most editors. This is based on the Tree Sitter parsertree-sitter-bash and supports explainshellexplainshell, shellcheckshellcheck and shfmtshfmt.
Documentation around configuration variables can be found in the config.ts file.


  • Jump to declaration
  • Find references
  • Code Outline & Show Symbols
  • Highlight occurrences
  • Code completion
  • Simple diagnostics reporting
  • Documentation for symbols on hover
  • Workspace symbols
  • Rename symbol
  • Format document

To be implemented:
  • Better jump to declaration and find references based on scope



As a dependency, we recommend that you first install shellcheckshellcheck to enable linting: . If shellcheck is installed, bash-language-server will automatically call it to provide linting and code analysis each time the file is updated (with debounce time of 500ms).
If you want your shell scripts to be formatted consistently, you can install shfmtshfmt. If shfmt is installed then your documents will be formatted whenever you take the 'format document' action. In most editors this can be configured to happen automatically when files are saved.

Bash language server

Usually you want to install a client for your editor (see the section below).
But if you want to install the server binary (for examples for editors, like helix, where a generic LSP client is built in), you can install from npm registry as:
npm i -g bash-language-server

Alternatively, bash-language-server may also be distributed directly by your Linux distro, for example on Fedora based distros:
dnf install -y nodejs-bash-language-server

Or on Ubuntu with snap:
sudo snap install bash-language-server --classic

To verify that everything is working:
bash-language-server --help

If you encounter installation errors, ensure you have node version 16 or newer (node --version).


The following editors and IDEs have available clients:


For Vim 8 or later install the plugin prabirshrestha/vim-lspvim-lsp and add the following configuration to .vimrc:
if executable('bash-language-server')
  au User lsp_setup call lsp#register_server({
        \ 'name': 'bash-language-server',
        \ 'cmd': {server_info->['bash-language-server', 'start']},
        \ 'allowlist': ['sh', 'bash'],
        \ })

For Vim 8 or Neovim using YouCompleteMe, add the following to .vimrc:
let g:ycm_language_server =
            \ [
            \   {
            \       'name': 'bash',
            \       'cmdline': [ 'bash-language-server', 'start' ],
            \       'filetypes': [ 'sh' ],
            \   }
            \ ]

For Vim 8 or Neovim using neoclide/coc.nvimcoc.nvim, according to it's Wiki article, add the following to your coc-settings.json:
"languageserver": {
  "bash": {
    "command": "bash-language-server",
    "args": ["start"],
    "filetypes": ["sh"],
    "ignoredRootPaths": ["~"]

For Vim 8 or NeoVim using dense-analysis/alevim-ale add the following configuration to your .vimrc:
let g:ale_linters = {
    \ 'sh': ['language_server'],
    \ }


For Neovim v0.8:
vim.api.nvim_create_autocmd('FileType', {
  pattern = 'sh',
  callback = function()
      name = 'bash-language-server',
      cmd = { 'bash-language-server', 'start' },

For NeoVim using autozimu/LanguageClient-neovimlanguageclient-neovim, add the following configuration to init.vim:
let g:LanguageClient_serverCommands = {
    \ 'sh': ['bash-language-server', 'start']
    \ }

For Vim8/NeoVim v0.5 using jayli/vim-easycomplete. Execute :InstallLspServer sh and config nothing. Maybe it's the easiest way to use bash-language-server in vim/nvim.


On the config file (File -> Preferences -> Edit Oni config) add the following configuration:
"language.bash.languageServer.command": "bash-language-server",
"language.bash.languageServer.arguments": ["start"],


Lsp-mode has a built-in client, can be installed by use-package. Add the configuration to your .emacs.d/init.el
```emacs-lisp (use-package lsp-mode :commands lsp :hook (sh-mode . lsp))
Using the built-in `eglot` lsp mode:

(use-package eglot
  (add-to-list 'eglot-server-programs '((sh-mode bash-ts-mode) . ("bash-language-server" "start")))

  (sh-mode . eglot-ensure)
  (bash-ts-mode . eglot-ensure))

shfmt integration

The indentation used by shfmt is whatever has been configured for the current editor session, so there is no shfmt-specific configuration variable for this. If your editor is configured for two-space indents then that's what it will use. If you're using tabs for indentation then shfmt will use that.
The shfmt integration also supports configuration via .editorconfig. If any shfmt-specific configuration properties are found in .editorconfig then the config in .editorconfig will be used and the language server config will be ignored. This follows shfmt's approach of using either .editorconfig or command line flags, but not both. Note that only shfmt-specific configuration properties are read from .editorconfig - indentation preferences are still provided by the editor, so to format using the indentation specified in .editorconfig make sure your editor is also configured to read .editorconfig. It is possible to disable .editorconfig support and always use the language server config by setting the "Ignore Editorconfig" configuration variable.


The minimum logging level for the server can be adjusted using the BASH_IDE_LOG_LEVEL environment variable and through the general workspace configuration.

Development Guide

Please see docs/development-guidedev-guide for more information.