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Crash course in Tmux

This is focused on getting a beginner quickly started with a shared tmux session.

Starting/Attaching tmux

Start a new session by running tmux alone.

$ tmux

Or a shared session.

$ tmux -S /tmp/shared.tmux

Attach to your default session.

$ tmux attach

Or attach to your shared session.

$ tmux -S /tmp/shared.tmux attach

Name your session.

$ tmux -S tmp/shared.tmux new-session -s mysession

Attach to named session.

$ tmux -S /tmp/shared.tmux attach -t mysession

List sessions.

$ tmux list-session

Share your session with others

Make the session file you specified with -S readable by a group. (Create the group first and add your users into it)

$ chgrp tmux /tmp/shared.tmux

Navigating tmux

Every command is prefixed by the prefix key which is ctrl-b by default. Shown here are default key bindings but you can also change them.

Exit tmux without killing it (detach)

This is probably the first thing you'll want to do.

  • Prefix+d - d for detach.

Switch window

The windows are shown at the bottom numbered 0 to 9.

  • Prefix+n - Next window, cycle to the right.

  • Prefix+p - Previous window, cycle to the left.

Switch pane

The window might be split into panes, horizontally or vertically.

  • Prefix+Arrow key - Move to the pane in the direction of the arrow key, up, down etc..

Zoom in on pane

  • Prefix+z - Zooms in on the active pane. Again will zoom out. Or use another pane navigation command.

Tmux commands

To execute tmux commands you hit Prefix+: (colon) which starts the command prompt at the bottom of tmux, in the status bar.

Split window into pane

  • :splitw -v -p 50 - Split window vertically by 50%.

  • :splitw -h -p 50 - Split window horizontally by 50%.

Open new window

  • :neww - Open a new window.

  • :neww -n vim vim - You can also name a window with -n and execute a command in it as final argument.

Close a window

To close a window simply exit whatever is running in it, shell or program.

But you can also force a window closed.

  • :killw - Kill the window.

Tips and tricks

That's it for the crash course but here are some tips from my own config.

Configure tmux in .tmux.conf

The default prefix key is awkwardly placed imo so I use Ctrl-f.

Put this into your ''$HOME/.tmux.conf'' file.

# Change prefix key to Ctrl-f
set-option -g prefix C-f

# Set window numbering starting at 1 instead of 0

set-option -g base-index 1

# Make active window more visible

set-window-option -g window-status-current-bg red

# Terminal history

set -g history-limit 9001

Last update: August 31, 2021