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On Ubuntu you can install ctags, with:

sudo apt-get install ctags
# or
sudo apt-get install exuberant-ctags

After installation, add the following line in ~/.vimrc to make it available in VIM.

set tags=tags


In the base directory of the project, hit:

ctags -R
  • Then, when editing, put your cursor over a variable, method or class and hit Ctrl-] to jump to its definition.
  • Type Ctrl-t to jump back. Pop back to where you last were. Works until the stack of symbols is exhausted.
  • To search for a specific tag and open the output in Vim to its definition, run the following command in your shell: vim -t *tagname*

Add a new extention/language

If you want to add a new language, you can create a file in home directory: vim ~/.ctags and add the following:


Then add this line to map the new language with a file name extension(s), like:


Or you can add the extension to the existing map with:


The list of langauges and their associated file names can be obtained by this command:

ctags --list-maps