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tmux shortcuts & cheatsheet

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+a) and then:


: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


d  detach
t  big clock
?  list shortcuts
:  prompt

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




Request an Update:

We Noticed that our Cheatsheet is growing and people are coloberating to add new tips and tricks, so please tweet to me what would you like to add and let's make it better!


Under the Panes section, shouldn't the 'o' key correspond to switch panes and not swap panes?


% is vertical split
" is horizontal

Great cheatsheet!!!


I still don't understand how to resize panes. The default prefix is C-b, then what?

" PREFIX : resize-pane -R (Resizes the current pane right) " , I don't get it. Can anyone help? :)


@ehellman This confused me too. You need to do C-b then a colon. This will bring up a bar where you can write resize-panes with whatever flags you want. Good luck!


In tmux-1.8 C-b z does a zoom/maximize of active pane (kind of like your Maximize and restore a pane thingy, i guess).


@goatfig Thanks for the comment I fixed the the pane horizontal and vertical shotcuts


@ehellman as @nickdtodd explained the "PREFIX" is ctrl+b or depending on your tmux configurations i personally changed my prefix to be ctrl+a much faster :)


Reload the tmux config file from shell:

$ tmux source-file ~/.tmux.conf

Or from tmux command line:

:source-file ~/.tmux.conf

Awesome! Thanks indeed for these tips!




Awesome! Thanks!


@todgru I personally have in my .tmux.conf

    unbind r
    bind r source-file ~/.tmux.conf; display "Reloaded"

this way when i use the PREFIX + r it loads


Resizing down seems to require the "-D" option for me (tmux-1.6):

PREFIX : resize-pane -D 20 (Resizes the current pane down by 20 cells)

Use it every day. Amazing Cheatsheet


thanks! helped a lot :)


Thank you! Very useful


Looks like the cheat sheet link is dead :(


thanks @bradleyankrom I removed the link to the cheat :)


Running tmux 1.8, same behaviour as described by @joestringer:
"Resizing down seems to require the "-D" option for me"

Btw, nice list to have at hand :)


thank you for sharing this, very useful!! :+1:


Thanks. Useful. :+1:


Very useful, greatly appreciated.


It's strange I can't resize the panes in tmux. For example to resize left a pane, I tried:

^b ^h
^b alt-<arrow-left>
^b ^<arrow-left>

This works

^b : resize-pane -L

but I prefer a shortcut to having to type too much.

Any ideas?

ps: I don't have ~/.tmux.conf file


Thank for your tips.
Btw, how can I change the default PREFIX (CTRL+B) to another key?


@hlenvd you can I do

set-option -g prefix C-a
unbind C-b
bind-key C-a send prefix
in the tmux.config
source -


Thank you for this awsome cheatsheet!

What about adding @rawzone's zoom command to the Panes section?

z toggle (zoom) active pane to full terminal size


Updated The following

  • Added the toggle zoom command
  • Added The Sync Panes trick

You ask for updated by sending me a tweet @MohammedAlaa


Updated The following

  • Added kill all tmux sessions

You ask for updated by sending me a tweet @MohammedAlaa


I had a problem running your kill-all command as an alias, but I found this one worked well for me:

alias tmkill='while [ $? -ne 1 ]; do tmux kill-session; done'


To resize a pane down:

PREFIX : resize-pane -D 20 (Resizes the current pane down by 20 cells)


Thanks for putting this together. :)


Show a list of the messages tmux displayed in the lower bar:

prefix + ~


@MohamedAlaa I believe @ravoori is correct. It should be like this instead:

Panes (splits)

o   switch to next pane
C-o swap panes

It's easy to confuse these because if you accidentally keep holding control down from doing your prefix then you'll be doing swap instead of next.


I have problem switching between last used session. C-a L switches to last used window rather than last used session which is the same as C-a l. Is there a way to switch to last used session?


I'm laughing for myself about the mouse support, like a children with a new lollipop, I just can't believe how AWESOME it is.


Thanks! Exactly what I needed


When in copy mode I find Shift + j and Shift + k very usefull: text scrolls up/down while maintaining cursor position


just type in terminal man tmux


Can anyone tell me how to edit current command in tmux? I use vi bindings and want to be able to edit the command I am currently specifying.




Consider these edits?

I changed "new window" to "create window", so that it's easier to remember.
I added "next window" and "previous window".


Thanks for this great reference sheet Mohamed!


Great cheat sheet, something is missing...

"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"

Can you add that?


One thing you could do to support the growing collaboration is make this a repo instead of a gist.
This /will/ backfire for people who use gist ide plugins and tools to quickly access documentation (aka, use gists as a personal documentation platform), but you could easily setup a CI workflow based on webhooks that publishes to the gist when a PR is merged into the repo.

Then people can do PRs, submit requests via issues, report outdated information via issues, etc, however you wanted to handle it.


so nice


The kill all sessions didn't work for me, this does:
for sess in $(tmux ls | awk '{FS=":" ; print $1}' | sed 's/://g') ; do tmux kill-session -t $sess ; done


Thx for that


In Configurations Options. Tmux 2.1 dont support

  • setw -g mode-mouse off
  • set -g mouse-select-pane off
  • set -g mouse-resize-pane off
  • set -g mouse-select-window off

instead use:

*set -g mouse on


Creating a new pane is quite possibly one of the most important controls but I don't see the key commands to do it here?


@Enverex did you mean splitting current window into multiple panes? See Panes (splits)


@MohamedAlaa This sounds like a great set of exercises for's tmux setup. Now that you can create your own exercises I may have to work off this list to expand my knowledge.



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