These days, my editor of choice is Neovim. While I’m not frequently writing SPARQL queries at work like I used to, I found myself recently wondering if there was a documented SPARQL LSP server configuration to use with Neovim’s native LSP client. There was not, so I attempted to leverage Stardog’s SPARQL language server to do just the thing and it worked pretty well!

Screenshot of the SPARQL LSP in action


Below are the steps I followed to set this up. This guide assumes you are using Neovim’s native LSP client and have familiarity with the general setup for configuring the LSP client for different language servers.

1. Install Stardog’s SPARQL language server

Terminal window
npm install -g sparql-language-server

2.Configure your package manager to use your nvim-lspconfig checkout

I installed the nvim-lspconfig plugin with my package manager, lazy.nvim, and so I configured lazy.nvim to use my local checkout of nvim-lspconfig in my init.lua like so:

require("lazy").setup("plugins", {
dev = {
-- directory where you store your local plugin projects
path = "~/projects",
-- @type string[] plugins that match these patterns will use your local versions instead of being fetched from GitHub
patterns = {"nvim-lspconfig"}

3. Create the SPARQL LSP Server Configuration

In your nvim-lspconfig checkout, create a new file at lua/lspconfig/server_configurations/sparql.lua:

Terminal window
touch lua/lspconfig/server_configurations/sparql.lua

Now define the SPARQL server configuration:

local util = require 'lspconfig.util'
local bin_name = 'sparql-language-server'
local cmd = { 'node', bin_name, '--stdio' }
return {
default_config = {
cmd = cmd,
filetypes = { 'sparql', 'rq' },
root_dir = util.find_git_ancestor or vim.fn.getcwd(),
single_file_support = true

This tells the Neovim LSP client to attempt to use the SPARQL language server if the file has an extension of sparql or rq.

4. Modify your Neovim config

Add the language server setup to your init.lua, substituting your path to the executable sparql-language-server installed via npm.

require("lspconfig").sparql.setup {
cmd = { "node", os.getenv("NVM_BIN") .. "/sparql-language-server", "--stdio" },
on_attach = on_attach

For my cmd, since I use nvm as my Node version manager, I have access to the NVM_BIN environment variable which as the variable name suggests, is just nvm’s installation directory.

Treesitter Syntax Highlighting (Optional)

Optionally install the SPARQL treesitter parser for Neovim to get syntax highlighting. In any buffer in normal mode enter :TSInstall sparql.


Open an existing or new file with an rq or sparql extension and begin writing some SPARQL.

Demo of the SPARQL LSP in action

A Final Word

That’s it! I hope you’ve found this helpful. If you are in the semantics world, Stardog has a few other very useful language servers for SHACL, TRiG, and Turtle. If you’re a Stardog user, there’s also language servers for SMS (Stardog Mapping Syntax), SRS (Stardog Rules Syntax), and Stardog’s GraphQL extensions. Check out the repository on Github. The process should be roughly the same for integrating these.