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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!

ravoori commented Apr 17, 2013

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

goatfig commented Apr 20, 2013

% 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!

rawzone commented Jul 1, 2013

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).


MohamedAlaa commented Aug 11, 2013

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


MohamedAlaa commented Aug 11, 2013

@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 :)

todgru commented Aug 16, 2013

Reload the tmux config file from shell:

$ tmux source-file ~/.tmux.conf

Or from tmux command line:

:source-file ~/.tmux.conf

Atcold commented Nov 22, 2013

Awesome! Thanks indeed for these tips!


Awesome! Thanks!


MohamedAlaa commented Dec 31, 2013

@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)

kocsenc commented Feb 10, 2014

Use it every day. Amazing Cheatsheet

jtanmay commented Mar 14, 2014

thanks! helped a lot :)

tdoumas commented Mar 21, 2014

Thank you! Very useful

Looks like the cheat sheet link is dead :(


MohamedAlaa commented Jun 3, 2014

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

cig0 commented Jun 20, 2014

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!! 👍

Thanks. Useful. 👍

gavsim commented Jul 14, 2014

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

hienvd commented Aug 12, 2014

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 -

tooreht commented Aug 17, 2014

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


MohamedAlaa commented Sep 19, 2014

Updated The following

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

You ask for updated by sending me a tweet @MohammedAlaa


MohamedAlaa commented Oct 25, 2014

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)

shrop commented Dec 8, 2014

Best cheat sheet for tmux I have seen. Posted on

wbnns commented Jan 10, 2015

Thanks for putting this together. :)

nooitaf commented Jan 17, 2015

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.

nladd commented May 8, 2015

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

VladSem commented May 22, 2015

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".

grahamg commented Aug 3, 2015

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

ttpears commented Oct 19, 2015

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

retraut commented Oct 22, 2015

Thx for that

gusgard commented Nov 4, 2015

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

Enverex commented Nov 13, 2015

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?

ChiChou commented Nov 15, 2015

@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.


Thank you!

This is great, thanks!

marzk commented Jan 13, 2016

+ break pane into window (e.g. to select text by mouse to copy) is error.

! Break the current pane out of the window.

I found this out by mistake, but doing CTRL+D during a tmux session kills it (Very helpful!)

PREFIX : resize-pane -t -L 20 (Resizes the pane with the id of 2 left by 20 cells)

Didn't you miss the pane id after the -t?

zjkiki commented Feb 17, 2016

kill all sessions just use "killall tmux", it's quick :)

numist commented Feb 24, 2016

Also useful: select-layout even-horizontal and select-layout even-vertical for when you've buggered your (one-dimensional) pane layout by resizing your terminal window.

sminrana commented Mar 5, 2016

Thanks for sharing this.

kill all the tmux sessions.

for session in `tmux ls | grep : | cut -d. -f1 | awk '{print substr($1, 0, length($1)-1)}'`;do tmux kill-session -t ${session};done

Thanks, great cheat sheet. I'm missing a basic shortcut to move between panes. Besides prefix + o you can use prefix + the arrow keys to move up, down, left, right from one pane to the other. It makes you more productive.

Just what I was looking for! Thanks!

I'd like to add, just in case a pane freezes out:

PREFIX : kill-pane -t <pane number>

This command did not work for me on tmux 1.8:
tmux a #
I had to use
tmux a -t #
To connect to a non-named session

ctrl-b esc [1 to 5] moves your current panes to different layouts. Which I do all the time due to using IRSSI. Is there a way of setting your current layout configuration as default?

ZeBigDuck commented May 25, 2016

I added a function in .zshrc to be able to toggle between sessions :

function tmux_switch_session() {
  setxkbmap fr;
  xdotool keyup Alt_L && xdotool key "Control_L+b";
  xdotool type --clearmodifiers ":a -t $(tmux ls | grep : | cut -d: -f1 | sed -n $($(exit $(tmux ls | wc -l)!=$(tmux ls | grep -n attached | cut -d: -f1)) | print -rP '%(?:1p:$(($(tmux ls | grep -n attached | cut -d: -f1)+1))p)'))";
  xdotool key "KP_Enter";

zle -N tmux_switch_session;
bindkey "^[s" tmux_switch_session;

Now, just press Alt+s to go to next session
(note you have to change keyboard locale with your own locale)

Wasn't able to make a tmux shortcut (xdotool sends Ctrl+b, then ls, then Enter, then :...)

Just want to reiterate @gusgard's comment. The mode for mouse is now simply :setw -g mouse on

Thank you guy :)

Easier way to kill all sessions:

tmux ls | cut -d: -f1 | xargs -l1 tmux kill-session -t

this is wrong , you should not treat the tmux session as a normal process,so 'kill' will not work

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

AminaG's solution is correct but luoyuping's killing sessions' way is not working on my remote devserver.

Why not make this a full repo rather than a gist? Then we can send in PRs.

mirzalazuardi commented Dec 8, 2016

🍻 I trapped to this page when googled how to resize panes .this is very usefull. thanks alot

ryran commented Dec 22, 2016

Panes can be resized without ridiculous commands by using: PREFIX, Ctrl-arrow...
E.g.: Ctrl-b, Ctrl-UP,UP,UP,UP.

lmj0011 commented Dec 31, 2016

thanks for that!

Thanks you!

Is there any way to identify which pane is running what? for example, I am running 10 servers in different pane then can I identify which pane is running what server ?

tony commented Feb 16, 2017

(Note: I posted this to a couple of other gists related to tmux.)

I recently finished a book on tmux, The Tao of tmux. It's available to read on the web for free. The book includes a cheatsheet section, in addition to covering tmux from the ground up via its session, window and pane objects. I also go into some tricks for optimizing workflows in the world of the terminal. Please feel free to give it a look!


leotm commented Mar 1, 2017

Kill all the tmux sessions: tmux ls | grep : | cut -d. -f1 | awk '{print substr($1, 0, length($1)-1)}' | xargs kill didn't work for me.

But killall tmux did the job.

scutdk commented Mar 18, 2017

Sync pane is what I am looking for, but it's not so intuitive. Just add a reminder: Sync pane is to duplicate input to any pane to all other panes in the same window (only for panes that are not in any special mode). Maybe can add this after the title so even first timer knows what it means.

One more note, sync pane mode doesn't work in vim. So only way to modify multiple files is to use sed instead. It's working, just only cursor in the main pane is blinking. :D

I can't split horizontal, " brings up a list of tmux screens for me, which is rather useless.

Wholly cow! DO NO USE the kill all tmux sessions shortcut. Your sending tmux session IDs to the kill command. Use this instead.

tmux ls | awk -F: '{print $1}' | xargs -i tmux kill-session -t {}

How to search for a text in tmux window?


deavmi commented May 26, 2017

So helpful.

'tmux kill-server' kills all sessions and gives you a fresh start

very useful

LMtx commented Jun 16, 2017

hello, mouse section is outdated - you can update it from my fork

When I have multiple tmux windows open and I resize one, it starts resizing all of them together. How do i disable this? This is on a mac btw.

0xnurl commented Jul 10, 2017

Thank you so much

Shaddy commented Aug 6, 2017

This is the bash-script I use when I want to kill all the sessions except the attached.

Kill all sessions except attached

tmux ls | awk '$1 gsub(":", "") {if (!/attached/) system("tmux kill-session -t " $1)}'

Not sure why the kill all script requires grep + cat + awk + xargs, I would write it as this.

Kill all sessions simplified

tmux ls | awk '$1 gsub(":", "") {system("tmux kill-session -t " $1)}'

Atlas7 commented Aug 20, 2017

I use this cheatsheet pretty much every single time I use a terminal! Life saver... !

harpreetsc1992 commented Sep 8, 2017

I think the options in the new tmux versions has changed.
For example:
set mouse on
turns all mouse options on.

jobwat commented Sep 28, 2017

When the window is stuck in a smaller dimension (due to a former session on a smaller screen):

:detach -a

Kill all sessions except the one you're attached to:
tmux kill-session a

Kill all sessions:
tmux kill-server

@MohamedAlaa, can you change
+ break pane into window (e.g. to select text by mouse to copy)
! break pane into window (e.g. to select text by mouse to copy)

This is an amazing cheatsheet! It really helped me on basics for what you can input to the tmux session!

AbrarTapzo commented Dec 12, 2017

After split pane vertical or horizontal I am not able to write on previous pane.
Suppose I am at pane A and suppose after split we have two panes of A -> A1 and A2
So I can put my commands on pane A2 but not on pane A1.
But i wanted to put commands on bot.
Any help ??

xinzweb commented Dec 12, 2017

You can switch panes using prefix + o if you want to input again on A1.

2E0PGS commented Jan 7, 2018

pkill tmux is a far quicker way of killing all sessions than that long line of code.

prefix + z can zoom in a particular pane now!

it is helpful, Thanks 👍

cool but detach from the current session window shouldn't be hidding in misc category, that one is up there with tmux new -s myname in terms of the basic value-add of using tmux:

ctrl+b d
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