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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:

List all shortcuts

to see all the shortcuts keys in tmux simply use the bind-key ? in my case that would be CTRL-B ?


: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 -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!

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Is it possible to set it so that I can use ctrl+b followed by vi keys (hjkl) to move among open panes? I.e., instead of ctrl-b UP I would use ctrl-b k?

That's been answered on Stack Overflow:

bind h select-pane -L
bind j select-pane -D
bind k select-pane -U
bind l select-pane -R

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rpresser commented Nov 16, 2020

@smbiemans See the tmux 2 version.

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iamMHZ commented Jan 11, 2021

Thank you for this fantastic cheatsheet.

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@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 just did that!

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xd003 commented Mar 2, 2021

For Killing all the tmux sessions , instead of that long command. You can simply use - tmux kill-server

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thomas-repo commented Apr 1, 2021

Hi, I would like to rebind the command
prefix : to become prefix ;
I want to mimic the binding from my vim-config nnoremap ; :
so i can enter command-mode with one less keystroke

Thank you in advance, Thomas

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lifeModder19135 commented Aug 10, 2021

Sex@ehellman For any command starting with a colon: it is referencing the tmux command system. if you type MOD ( [ctrl] + [b] ) followed by
[ : ] (in other words, control b then colon ) then you enter tmux command mode, which is just like vi command mode. For actions like resize which have built-in keybindings, however, the command is a waste of time. The keybind for resize seems clumsy until you discover that you only need to hit the mod keys once(so long as you do it quickly). TRY THIS: Easiest way to resize or navigate panes within current window:

-- RESIZE --

Note: for the following, let $MOD equal { Ctrl + b } and let direction spelled in caps (e.g. DOWN, LEFT, etc.) equal that arrow key.

1.) Know which direction you are resizing beforehand, because you cannot pause or the key combo is ended. You'll see what I mean once you try it.
2.) For whatever direction you are resizing, start by doing the regular keyboard shortcut using arrows ($MOD then { Ctrl + (UP || DOWN || LEFT || RIGHT )}) but DO NOT LET UP FROM CTRL.
3.) Now, just keep tapping ARROW key (still holding control key) until the border is where you want it.

EXAMPLE: to enlarge upper left pane, while cursor is within that pane:

  • With your left pinky, hold [left ctrl] and keep it down until directions say to let up.
  • with your left index finger, tap [ b ]
  • with your right hand, type any combination of arrow keys fairly quickly and without stopping
  • youll see the display updating in time with your keystrokes. let off ctrl when done. XD
  • Navigation si the same thing, but you release [ctrl] as soon as [ b ] is pressed, before hitting arrows.
  • As I said, it helps to map out exactly which keys youll need, and their exact order, before starting.

Sorry if you already knew this. I stumbled onto it by accident. When I was learning, this wasn't written on any of the cheat sheets. Anyway, for a long time, I would plant the pinky and type (b, arrow, b, arrow, b, arrow) as quickly as I could. It got annoying after a while.

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very cool! espacially the bellow questions and solutions

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djsnipa1 commented Oct 1, 2021

@ehellman The keybind for resize seems clumsy until you discover that you only need to hit the mod keys once(so long as you do it quickly).

Awesome tip! Should be in the main gist unless (unless I skimmed over it).

Thank you everybody for the cheat sheet!

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mem- commented Dec 6, 2021

@MohamedAlaa, I think this is a typo;

--- tmux-cheatsheet.markdown	2021-12-06 11:36:10.570568266 +0100
+++	2021-12-06 11:36:41.166902407 +0100
@@ -89,7 +89,7 @@
     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)
+    PREFIX : resize-pane -t 2 -L 20 (Resizes the pane with the id of 2 left by 20 cells)

// mem

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Would need to make it known that if using gpakosz /.tmux = Oh-My-Tmux , that you need to edit the .tmux.conf.local file - to add configurations - and not touch the .tmux.conf


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yuis-ice commented Feb 2, 2022

This doc helped me a lot thus far. Thank you mate.

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awesome 🌹

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for me three commands
1 ctrl b %
3. tmux ls
2. ctrl b : set -g mouse on

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verhovsky commented Sep 6, 2022

   Previous page           C-b            Page up

should be

   Previous page           C-b C-b        Page up

At least when you have the default prefix?

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ericthomasca commented Sep 27, 2022

setw -g mode-mouse off should be setw -g mouse off. Adding ":" to the front of the set commands, I believe, would add clarity as well.

Edit: These changes affect all the mouse commands.

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Attach session to named 'name' from prompt: tmux a -t name
Kill session named 'name' from prompt: tmux kill-session -t name
Detach: ctrl+bd geometry dash

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Ctrl + b + x to close the current pane.

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Does anybody consider making all bindings in tmux just ALT+_KEY_ ? And just never use a prefix?

I was considering this for a new tmux conf setup.

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@davidpeach it's gets conflicting for some people as it can overlap for other shortcuts you might have on the OS level. that's why I guess they made the prefix to ensure it doesn't conflict with anything you might have on the Operating system. but give it a try and tell us how did it go.

Are you a Mac user or linux?

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For Windows (Tabs) section, you could also add:
l last window

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that's awesome cheat sheet
because i am linux user That's why love bunch of key-winding
to speed of my software development process. without living keyboard

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this doesn't work for Mac what to do for Mac

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ik5 commented Dec 31, 2023

this doesn't work for Mac what to do for Mac

Using Mac, the "C" key is actually stand for "Cmd".

But also make sure you did not map any global keymap that also exists for the TMUX settings.

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@ Run 3 Download A Cloud Guru's cheat sheet of commands and shortcuts for tmux!

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