To open buffers or navigate through the buffers list see
:doc commands files-and-buffers.

Scratch Buffers

Scratch buffers are useful for volatile data and quick prototyping. They
are not linked to files, so Kakoune does not warn about unsaved changes
at exit, and the :write command requires an explicit filename.

One particular scratch buffer, named \*scratch\*, is
automatically created when there are no other buffers left in the
current session. (which is also the case at Kakoune’s startup when no
files to open have been provided)

A scratch buffer can be created by passing the -scratch switch to the
:edit command.

Debug Buffers

Debug buffers are used to gather diagnostics. They have a number of
restrictions compared to regular buffers:

  • They are skipped when cycling over the buffers list.

  • Their content is not considered for word completions with word=all

  • Hooks are not always run (like the BufCreate/BufClose hooks)

  • Display profiling is disabled

A specific \*debug\* buffer is used by Kakoune to write errors
or warnings. This is also where the ouput of the :debug and the :echo -debug commands will land.

A debug buffer can be created by passing the -debug switch to the
:edit command.

FIFO Buffers

The :edit command can take a -fifo switch:

:edit -fifo <filename> [-scroll] <buffername>

In this case, a buffer named <buffername> is created which reads its
content from the fifo (also called “named pipe”) <filename>. When the
fifo is written to, the buffer is automatically updated.

If the -scroll switch is specified, the window displaying the buffer
will scroll so that the newest data is always visible.

This is very useful for running some commands asynchronously while
displaying their result in a buffer. See rc/make.kak and rc/grep.kak
for examples.

When the write end of the fifo is closed, the buffer becomes an ordinary
scratch buffer. When the buffer is deleted,
Kakoune closes the read end of the fifo, so any program writing to it
will receive SIGPIPE. This is useful as it permits to stop the writing
program when the buffer is deleted.