Setting up Sublime Text for Deno

About 4 min reading time

I’ve recently switched back to Sublime Text as main editor, as described in a recent /mind post. As a test to get a feel for the ecosystem, I’ve set out on a journey to make it more ergonomic to develop Deno code. “Ergonomic” as in “actually use Typescript features and not show any red compile errors for Deno specific code”. Also, I want to try to have Sublime support import maps, the Deno config file, and format on save.

Install necessary packages

(I assume you have Package Control up and running.)


  • LSP. Client implementation of the Language Server Protocol for Sublime Text. This is a base package, which is used by other language specific packages. There are packages for Typescript, CSS, Deno, JSON, Lua, Vue, etc. etc.
  • LSP-Deno. Convenience package for starting the Deno LSP server. This enables Deno features in Sublime.


  • LSP-json. Schema validation/completions for your JSON and Sublime files. This is for making JSON files more “VS Code like” in the way that keys in various settings files can be autocompleted and validated. Handy but in no way required.

Sublime project configuration

First of all, we need a place where we can instruct Sublime (and installed packages) where to look for custom Deno settings. That is, settings that describe paths to files, and lint and format config. Essentially holding the values described in “Configuration file”.

These will go into a xxx.sublime-project file, where xxx is the name of your project (anything). Create one if you haven’t.

(Sublime has this concept of “projects” I don’t really like. One has to go to Window -> Open project… in order for the editor to actually load the project config file, or use subl --project path/to/project.sublime-project. It’s not loaded when the editor is brought up via subl . from the command line. This feels lame. Sort of tracked here.)

This is a sample xxx.sublime-project for Deno:

	"settings": {
		"LSP": {
			"LSP-typescript": {
				"enabled": false
			"Deno": {
				"enabled": true,
				"settings": {
					"deno.config": "./deno.jsonc",
					"deno.unstable": true,
					"deno.importMap": "./import_map.json",
					"deno.suggest.imports.hosts": {
						"": true,
						"": true

All deno.* settings are documented here, with defaults.

Line by line:

  • LSP-typescript. Let’s be really sure to disable the TypeScript Language Server, since that’ll interfere with .ts files with Deno calls.
  • deno.config: Path to the Deno configuration file.
  • deno.unstable: Enable unstable features or not.
  • deno.importMap: Path to an import map.
  • deno.suggest.imports.hosts: Hosts that will appear as suggestions when importing.

(As mentioned above, the LSP-json package really helps you with the autocomplete here. I found it tricky to figure out the exact structure of these settings.)

For me, there’s no need to do further tweaks in most Deno projects.

Now, Sublime should be able to pick up your import map, as well as your Deno configuration.

If configured correctly, you should be able to

  • get IntelliSense popups when hovering over functions
  • have working import maps
  • get proper type info and autocompletions when coding
  • have correct compilerOptions from your Deno config

and lots more.

IntelliSense documentation popup

Note: at the time of writing, there’s an issue with the deno.suggest.imports.hosts key. If you toggle the LSP log panel (Command palette -> “LSP: Toggle log panel”), you’ll see that it says:

failed to update settings: invalid type: map, expected a boolean

I’ve filed an issue for LSP-Deno here. I’ve noticed that this setting interfers with the other settings, so I’ve removed it for now.

Click to go to definition

This is a feature I heavily used in VS Code: use the combo of option+click (Mac) to go to the definition of a variable, function, or type. This uses the LSP, so it’ll be “intelligent”.

Mouse bindings live in this file (create it if it doesn’t exist):

~/Library/Application\ Support/Sublime\ Text/Packages/User/Default\ (OSX).sublime-mousemap

Then add this:

		"button": "button1",
		"count": 1,
		"modifiers": [
		"press_command": "lsp_symbol_definition"

You can now use alt+click to jump around.

Rename symbols

Another nifty feature we can use the Language Server’s capabilities for is to do smart renames, i.e. rename functions and variables and have them be intelligently updated across files.

In VS Code, I used the key binding cmd+shift+r (Mac).

Open up Key Bindings (Preferences -> Key Bindings) or:

subl ~/Library/Application\ Support/Sublime\ Text/Packages/User/Default\ (OSX).sublime-keymap

Then add this:

		"keys": ["super+shift+r"],
		"command": "lsp_symbol_rename",
		"context": [
				"key": "lsp.session_with_capability",
				"operator": "equal",
				"operand": "renameProvider"

Diagnostics panel

By default, the LSP package will show a diagnostics panel if there are TypeScript errors or warnings in your project. I found this really annoying, so I turned it off with:

Preferences -> Package Settings -> LSP -> Settings

Then add:

	// Open the diagnostics panel automatically on save when diagnostics level is
	// equal to or less than:
	// none: 0 (never open the panel automatically)
	// error: 1
	// warning: 2
	// info: 3
	// hint: 4
	"show_diagnostics_panel_on_save": 0 // default is 2, turn off with 0

Tip: You can still toggle the Diagnostics panel with cmd+alt+m (Mac) or search for it in the command palette. It’ll show any TypeScript errors or warnings in the project.

Code formatting

Deno comes with a built-in formatter, which the LSP in Sublime can use.

Either run LSP: Format file from the command palette to format manually, or use format on save. The latter is configured in the LSP settings, but you should probably do it on a project basis. This means adding this to your Sublime project file:

	"settings": {
		"lsp_format_on_save": true

The exact formatting config lives in your Deno configuration. For me, it’s deno.jsonc:

	"fmt": {
		"options": {
			"useTabs": false,
			"lineWidth": 100,
			"singleQuote": true,
			"indentWidth": 4

Bonus: JSON schema support for deno.json

There’s no built-in support for autocompletions in deno.{json,jsonc} files. But with our newly installed LSP-json package, there is a way! Deno publishes its schema for the config file on a URL, which we can add to “user schemas” in the LSP-json settings.

Open LSP-json.sublime-settings or run LSP-json Settings in the command palette. Then add this:

	"settings": {
		"userSchemas": [
				"fileMatch": ["deno.json", "deno.jsonc"],
				"uri": "[email protected]/cli/schemas/config-file.v1.json"

I guess one has to update the versions in there manually, but the package wouldn’t follow the URL linked from Deno’s documentation page, probably since it redirects:

That’s it! Let me know if you’ve got more tricks for working with Deno in Sublime.