Skip to content

Instantly share code, notes, and snippets.

Embed
What would you like to do?
tmux cheatsheet

tmux cheat sheet

(C-x means ctrl+x, M-x means alt+x)

Prefix key

The default prefix is C-b. If you (or your muscle memory) prefer C-a, you need to add this to ~/.tmux.conf:

# remap prefix to Control + a
set -g prefix C-a
# bind 'C-a C-a' to type 'C-a'
bind C-a send-prefix
unbind C-b

I'm going to assume that C-a is your prefix.

Sessions, windows, panes

Session is a set of windows, plus a notion of which window is current.

Window is a single screen covered with panes. (Once might compare it to a ‘virtual desktop’ or a ‘space’.)

Pane is a rectangular part of a window that runs a specific command, e.g. a shell.

Getting help

Display a list of keyboard shortcuts:

C-a ?

Navigate using Vim or Emacs shortcuts, depending on the value of mode-keys. Emacs is the default, and if you want Vim shortcuts for help and copy modes (e.g. j, k, C-u, C-d), add the following line to ~/.tmux.conf:

setw -g mode-keys vi

Any command mentioned in this list can be executed as tmux something or C-a :something (or added to ~/.tmux.conf).

Managing sessions

Creating a session:

tmux new-session -s work

Create a new session that shares all windows with an existing session, but has its own separate notion of which window is current:

tmux new-session -s work2 -t work

Attach to a session:

tmux attach -t work

Detach from a session: C-a d.

Switch between sessions:

C-a (          previous session
C-a )          next session
C-a L          ‘last’ (previously used) session
C-a s          choose a session from a list

Other:

C-a $          rename the current session
C-a

Managing windows

Create a window:

C-a c          create a new window

Switch between windows:

C-a 1 ...      switch to window 1, ..., 9, 0
C-a 9
C-a 0
C-a p          previous window
C-a n          next window
C-a l          ‘last’ (previously used) window
C-a w          choose window from a list

Switch between windows with a twist:

C-a M-n        next window with a bell, activity or
               content alert
C-a M-p        previous such window

Other:

C-a ,          rename the current window
C-a &          kill the current window

Managing split panes

Creating a new pane by splitting an existing one:

C-a "          split vertically (top/bottom)
C-a %          split horizontally (left/right)

Switching between panes:

C-a left       go to the next pane on the left
C-a right      (or one of these other directions)
C-a up
C-a down
C-a o          go to the next pane (cycle through all of them)
C-a ;          go to the ‘last’ (previously used) pane

Moving panes around:

C-a {          move the current pane to the previous position
C-a }          move the current pane to the next position
C-a C-o        rotate window ‘up’ (i.e. move all panes)
C-a M-o        rotate window ‘down’
C-a !          move the current pane into a new separate
               window (‘break pane’)
C-a :move-pane -t :3.2
               split window 3's pane 2 and move the current pane there

Resizing panes:

C-a M-up, C-a M-down, C-a M-left, C-a M-right
               resize by 5 rows/columns
C-a C-up, C-a C-down, C-a C-left, C-a C-right
               resize by 1 row/column

Applying predefined layouts:

C-a M-1        switch to even-horizontal layout
C-a M-2        switch to even-vertical layout
C-a M-3        switch to main-horizontal layout
C-a M-4        switch to main-vertical layout
C-a M-5        switch to tiled layout
C-a space      switch to the next layout

Other:

C-a x          kill the current pane
C-a q          display pane numbers for a short while

Other config file settings

Force a reload of the config file on C-a r:

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

Some other settings that I use:

setw -g xterm-keys on
@fjfish

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@fjfish fjfish commented Jun 4, 2013

^A is beginning of line - personally leave it at ^B

@oeeckhoutte

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@oeeckhoutte oeeckhoutte commented Sep 6, 2013

It's the same for me it's ^B. Thanks for the tips :)

@LeftyBC

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@LeftyBC LeftyBC commented Sep 23, 2013

I change the prefix to ^A, but "^A a" passes through that ^A to do beginning-of-line, so I don't miss it.

@amiel

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@amiel amiel commented Sep 25, 2013

I use ^T, which is pretty handy in dvorak

@igbanam

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@igbanam igbanam commented Oct 14, 2013

Thanks for the recipe (:

@djblue

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@djblue djblue commented Oct 24, 2013

Very handy. Thanks!

@anselmo

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@anselmo anselmo commented Jan 15, 2014

Ace!

@droope

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@droope droope commented Feb 19, 2014

This is great! thanks

@sukima

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@sukima sukima commented Feb 25, 2014

I wouldn't mind going for ^B but my muscle memory is so used to the old days with screen that I can't undo ^A. 😞

@ryanwilsonperkin

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@ryanwilsonperkin ryanwilsonperkin commented Mar 14, 2014

Had my own reservations about switching to ^A since I'm used to using it for start of line in bash & zsh, however tapping it twice (^A^A) mimics the old ^A behaviour. Since discovering that I've been happy with the change.

@xavierartot

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@xavierartot xavierartot commented Mar 21, 2014

How reload the tmux.conf ?

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

Then i hit r + return ?
Thanks

@akartynnik

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@akartynnik akartynnik commented Mar 26, 2014

Close all tmux sessions, or run: tmux kill-server. Then start new session: tmux new -s session_name
Session is closed by pressing Ctrl-d

@hauleth

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@hauleth hauleth commented Apr 11, 2014

Personally I use ^Q as I often use ^A in Vim.

@EvanCarroll

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@EvanCarroll EvanCarroll commented May 26, 2014

You should say what setw -g xterm-keys on actually does.

@mattaudesse

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@mattaudesse mattaudesse commented May 28, 2014

This is great! Very handy.

@denji

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@denji denji commented May 29, 2014

@giangnguyennet

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@giangnguyennet giangnguyennet commented Jul 19, 2014

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

@josephrexme

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@josephrexme josephrexme commented Aug 4, 2014

I find this so useful

@stoddart

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@stoddart stoddart commented Dec 4, 2014

@xavierartot @akartynnik You can also run:

killall tmux

...to ensure that all tmux sessions are closed.

@stoddart

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@stoddart stoddart commented Dec 4, 2014

@EvanCarroll What #setw -g xterm-keys on does is ensure keyboard shortcuts inside vim still work by enabling xterm keybindings.

@ravening

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@ravening ravening commented Feb 23, 2015

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?

@kibromGB

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@kibromGB kibromGB commented Aug 4, 2015

Am I supposed to create the config file manually as it is not there on my home directory ( ~/.tmux.conf )?

PS: Output of: /# whereis tmux.conf
is: tmux: /usr/bin/tmux /usr/bin/X11/tmux /usr/share/man/man1/tmux.1.gz

@tsrivishnu

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@tsrivishnu tsrivishnu commented Sep 28, 2015

C-a " split vertically (top/bottom) Is that right? Shouldn't that be called as splitting horizontally ?

@seddik

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@seddik seddik commented Mar 18, 2016

very nice & helpful

@wolfhammer

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@wolfhammer wolfhammer commented Mar 29, 2016

I run tmux local and screen remote so the Ctrl-B, Ctrl-A defaults are best for me.

@lmj0011

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@lmj0011 lmj0011 commented Jun 29, 2016

I always find myself coming back to this gist after viewing at this one: https://gist.github.com/MohamedAlaa/2961058

@longkai

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@longkai longkai commented Aug 3, 2016

thx!

@griffinqiu

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@griffinqiu griffinqiu commented Aug 18, 2016

Good

@FliiFe

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@FliiFe FliiFe commented Oct 24, 2016

I use C-Space as prefix, it does not interfere with anything I have (C-b drives me insane, I use vim, and C-a too).

@williamboman

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@williamboman williamboman commented Nov 24, 2016

How do I cancel "C-a mode" after switching panes? E.g. after doing C-a right I want to be able to press left without going to another pane.

@Perterually

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@Perterually Perterually commented Dec 23, 2016

Good

@tony

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@tony tony commented Feb 15, 2017

(I posted this message on another gist too), but I've recently written a book called The Tao of tmux and made it available for free to read online. It covers tmux by the way of its server, down to its sessions, window and panes. It also covers details on configuration and usage shortcuts. All are welcome to check it out!

@ElijahLynn

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@ElijahLynn ElijahLynn commented Mar 9, 2017

I found C-\ to be a good prefix, stays out of the way and is easy to reach quickly.

@oridgar

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@oridgar oridgar commented Jul 12, 2017

Still useful, thanks!

@semidog

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@semidog semidog commented Oct 23, 2017

A very useful feature is to broadcast keyboard input to multiple panes. I use it extensively when I want to type the same bunch of commands into multiple console sessions. When multiple panes are open, use

C-a : 
setw synchronize-panes on

I've also mapped this to "C-a C-x" by adding this to .tmux.conf :

bind -n C-x setw synchronize-panes
@R3DDY97

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@R3DDY97 R3DDY97 commented Oct 29, 2018

@semidog

synchronize-panes
Thats cool one

@R3DDY97

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@R3DDY97 R3DDY97 commented Oct 29, 2018

@tsrivishnu

The -v and -h flags on split-window stand for “vertical” and “horizontal” splits,
but to tmux,
a vertical split means creating a new pane below the existing pane so the panes are stacked vertically on top of each other.

A horizontal split means creating a new pane next to the existing one so the panes are stacked horizontally across the screen.

So, in order to divide the window vertically, we use a “horizontal” split,
and to divide it horizontally, we use a “vertical” split

@asison-witekio

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@asison-witekio asison-witekio commented Nov 8, 2018

Here is an easy to follow cheatsheet. HERE

@hktalent

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@hktalent hktalent commented Dec 19, 2018

@asison-witekio @andreyvit @tsrivishnu
how ?

#tmux new -s xxx -d
tmux send -t xxx 'C-a "' Enter

https://superuser.com/questions/492266/run-or-send-a-command-to-a-tmux-pane-in-a-running-tmux-session

session=whatever
window=${session}:0
pane=${window}.4
tmux send-keys -t "$pane" C-z 'some -new command' Enter
tmux select-pane -t "$pane"
tmux select-window -t "$window"
tmux attach-session -t "$session"

@shikari7

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@shikari7 shikari7 commented Jul 28, 2019

A good alternative prefix key that I use with screen instead of C-a is C-\. I'll make this switch with tmux too.

Sign up for free to join this conversation on GitHub. Already have an account? Sign in to comment
You can’t perform that action at this time.