A session / window manager for the console. Allows tracking tabs all within the same console. This is useful when connecting to remote servers, especially when connecting with something flakey like a phone.

Install tmux on the remote server:

sudo apt install tmux

from there you can launch tmux with

$ tmux

once inside a tmux context, it helps to know some basic commands to navigate.

to detach

ctrl-b d # (or ctrl-m d if remapped)

to list all sessions

tmux ls

ctrl-b s # (or ctrl-m s if remapped)

to re-attach to the previous session

tmux attach

if the previous one is not the one you want:

tmux attach-session -t 5

to cycle through sessions from within tmux

ctrl-b ( # or ctrl-m ( if remapped ctrl-b ) # or ctrl-m ) if remapped

to rename a session ctrl-b $ # (or ctrl-m $ if remapped)

This is a good guide


Put this at the bottom of ~/.tmux.conf ($XDG_CONFIG_HOME/tmux/tmux.conf works too):

# remap prefix to Control + m
set -g prefix C-m
unbind C-b
bind C-m send-prefix

force a reload of the config file

unbind r bind r source-file ~/.tmux.conf

quick pane cycling

unbind ^A bind ^A select-pane -t :.+

From there, it helps to learn some basics. Here are a few good guides:

For all keybindings, press ctrl-b first, then press the key you want. key what it does ctrl-b, % split the screen in half from left to right ctrl-b, " split the screen in half from top to bottom ctrl-b, x kill the current pane ctrl-b, <arrow key> switch to the pane in whichever direction you press ctrl-b, d detach from tmux, leaving everything running in the background

This is an incomplete list; a more exhaustive list is available here

List of plugins

set -g @plugin 'tmux-plugins/tpm' set -g @plugin 'tmux-plugins/tmux-sensible' set -g @plugin 'tmux-plugins/tmux-resurrect'

Other examples:

set -g @plugin 'github_username/plugin_name'

set -g @plugin ''

set -g @plugin ''

Initialize TMUX plugin manager (keep this line at the very bottom of tmux.conf)

run -b '~/.tmux/plugins/tpm/tpm'

tmux under termux

dont do this

run tmux on the remote server, not on a phone. For a phone, just install termux

on something like termux on android, where you really only have a limited number of sessions.

Start with installation:



pkg install tmux

Before too long, termux will crash. It will take your tmux sessions along with it. Unless you store the settings.

Ressurect relies on Tmux Plugin Manager:

mkdir -p ~/.tmux/plugins git clone ~/.tmux/plugins/tpm

Pasting that here for personal edits:


seeing an issue where pressing enter requires a double press. Seeing this on an SSH session to chip even. Maybe it has something to do with a filter in termux on an android phone? (current source)

tmux shortcuts & cheatsheet

start new:


start new with session name:

tmux new -s myname


tmux a  #  (or at, or attach)

attach to named:

tmux a -t myname

list sessions:

tmux ls

kill session:

tmux kill-session -t myname

Kill all the tmux sessions:

tmux ls | grep : | cut -d. -f1 | awk '{print substr($1, 0, length($1)-1)}' | xargs kill

In tmux, hit the prefix ctrl+b (my modified prefix is ctrl+m) and then:


d  detach
t  big clock
?  list shortcuts
:  prompt


:new`<CR>`  new session
s  list sessions
$  name session

Windows (tabs)

c  create window
w  list windows
n  next window
p  previous window
f  find window
,  name window
&  kill window

Panes (splits)

%  vertical split
"  horizontal split

o  swap panes
q  show pane numbers
x  kill pane
+  break pane into window (e.g. to select text by mouse to copy)
-  restore pane from window
⍽  space - toggle between layouts
`<prefix>` q (Show pane numbers, when the numbers show up type the key to goto that pane)
`<prefix>` { (Move the current pane left)
`<prefix>` } (Move the current pane right)
`<prefix>` z toggle pane zoom

Sync Panes

You can do this by switching to the appropriate window, typing your Tmux prefix (commonly Ctrl-B or Ctrl-A) and then a colon to bring up a Tmux command line, and typing:

:setw synchronize-panes

You can optionally add on or off to specify which state you want; otherwise the option is simply toggled. This option is specific to one window, so it won’t change the way your other sessions or windows operate. When you’re done, toggle it off again by repeating the command. tip source

Resizing Panes

You can also resize panes if you don’t like the layout defaults. I personally rarely need to do this, though it’s handy to know how. Here is the basic syntax to resize panes:

PREFIX : resize-pane -D (Resizes the current pane down)
PREFIX : resize-pane -U (Resizes the current pane upward)
PREFIX : resize-pane -L (Resizes the current pane left)
PREFIX : resize-pane -R (Resizes the current pane right)
PREFIX : resize-pane -D 20 (Resizes the current pane down by 20 cells)
PREFIX : resize-pane -U 20 (Resizes the current pane upward by 20 cells)
PREFIX : resize-pane -L 20 (Resizes the current pane left by 20 cells)
PREFIX : resize-pane -R 20 (Resizes the current pane right by 20 cells)
PREFIX : resize-pane -t 2 20 (Resizes the pane with the id of 2 down by 20 cells)
PREFIX : resize-pane -t -L 20 (Resizes the pane with the id of 2 left by 20 cells)

Copy mode:

Pressing PREFIX [ places us in Copy mode. We can then use our movement keys to move our cursor around the screen. By default, the arrow keys work. we set our configuration file to use Vim keys for moving between windows and resizing panes so we wouldn’t have to take our hands off the home row. tmux has a vi mode for working with the buffer as well. To enable it, add this line to .tmux.conf:

setw -g mode-keys vi

With this option set, we can use h, j, k, and l to move around our buffer.

To get out of Copy mode, we just press the ENTER key. Moving around one character at a time isn’t very efficient. Since we enabled vi mode, we can also use some other visible shortcuts to move around the buffer.

For example, we can use "w" to jump to the next word and "b" to jump back one word. And we can use "f", followed by any character, to jump to that character on the same line, and "F" to jump backwards on the line.

   Function                vi             emacs
   Back to indentation     ^              M-m
   Clear selection         Escape         C-g
   Copy selection          Enter          M-w
   Cursor down             j              Down
   Cursor left             h              Left
   Cursor right            l              Right
   Cursor to bottom line   L
   Cursor to middle line   M              M-r
   Cursor to top line      H              M-R
   Cursor up               k              Up
   Delete entire line      d              C-u
   Delete to end of line   D              C-k
   End of line             $              C-e
   Goto line               :              g
   Half page down          C-d            M-Down
   Half page up            C-u            M-Up
   Next page               C-f            Page down
   Next word               w              M-f
   Paste buffer            p              C-y
   Previous page           C-b            Page up
   Previous word           b              M-b
   Quit mode               q              Escape
   Scroll down             C-Down or J    C-Down
   Scroll up               C-Up or K      C-Up
   Search again            n              n
   Search backward         ?              C-r
   Search forward          /              C-s
   Start of line           0              C-a
   Start selection         Space          C-Space
   Transpose chars                        C-t

Configurations Options:

# Mouse support - set to on if you want to use the mouse
* setw -g mode-mouse off
* set -g mouse-select-pane off
* set -g mouse-resize-pane off
* set -g mouse-select-window off

# Set the default terminal mode to 256color mode
set -g default-terminal "screen-256color"

# enable activity alerts
setw -g monitor-activity on
set -g visual-activity on

# Center the window list
set -g status-justify centre

# Maximize and restore a pane
unbind Up bind Up new-window -d -n tmp \; swap-pane -s tmp.1 \; select-window -t tmp
unbind Down
bind Down last-window \; swap-pane -s tmp.1 \; kill-window -t tmp


Tiling Window Managers

There is a lot of conceptual overlap with tmux and tiling windows managers

Window Managers

where are these notes? wayland.txt

Launchers / dmenu

dmenu is a fast and lightweight dynamic menu for X. It reads arbitrary text from stdin, and creates a menu with one item for each line. The user can then select an item, through the arrow keys or typing a part of the name, and the line is printed to stdout. dmenu_run is a wrapper that ships with the dmenu distribution that allows its use as an application launcher

2019.08.26 17:31:24

getting started with learning tmux for managing command line sessions

this may be able to help when termux on android gets closed and the state is lost.

2019.08.27 15:04:50

tmux seems similar in functionality to emacs... multiple buffers showing on one terminal. but it's probably better to abstract that out of the editor