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TMUX(1) BSD General Commands Manual TMUX(1)
tmux — terminal multiplexer
tmux [-2CluvV] [-c shell-command] [-f file] [-L socket-name]
[-S socket-path] [command [flags]]
tmux is a terminal multiplexer: it enables a number of terminals to be
created, accessed, and controlled from a single screen. tmux may be
detached from a screen and continue running in the background, then later
When tmux is started it creates a new session with a single window and
displays it on screen. A status line at the bottom of the screen shows
information on the current session and is used to enter interactive com‐
A session is a single collection of pseudo terminals under the management
of tmux. Each session has one or more windows linked to it. A window
occupies the entire screen and may be split into rectangular panes, each
of which is a separate pseudo terminal (the pty(4) manual page documents
the technical details of pseudo terminals). Any number of tmux instances
may connect to the same session, and any number of windows may be present
in the same session. Once all sessions are killed, tmux exits.
Each session is persistent and will survive accidental disconnection
(such as ssh(1) connection timeout) or intentional detaching (with the
‘C-b d’ key strokes). tmux may be reattached using:
$ tmux attach
In tmux, a session is displayed on screen by a client and all sessions
are managed by a single server. The server and each client are separate
processes which communicate through a socket in /tmp.
The options are as follows:
-2 Force tmux to assume the terminal supports 256 colours.
-C Start in control mode (see the CONTROL MODE section).
Given twice (-CC) disables echo.
-c shell-command
Execute shell-command using the default shell. If neces‐
sary, the tmux server will be started to retrieve the
default-shell option. This option is for compatibility
with sh(1) when tmux is used as a login shell.
-f file Specify an alternative configuration file. By default,
tmux loads the system configuration file from
@SYSCONFDIR@/tmux.conf, if present, then looks for a user
configuration file at ~/.tmux.conf.
The configuration file is a set of tmux commands which are
executed in sequence when the server is first started.
tmux loads configuration files once when the server process
has started. The source-file command may be used to load a
file later.
tmux shows any error messages from commands in configura‐
tion files in the first session created, and continues to
process the rest of the configuration file.
-L socket-name
tmux stores the server socket in a directory under
TMUX_TMPDIR or /tmp if it is unset. The default socket is
named default. This option allows a different socket name
to be specified, allowing several independent tmux servers
to be run. Unlike -S a full path is not necessary: the
sockets are all created in the same directory.
If the socket is accidentally removed, the SIGUSR1 signal
may be sent to the tmux server process to recreate it (note
that this will fail if any parent directories are missing).
-l Behave as a login shell. This flag currently has no effect
and is for compatibility with other shells when using tmux
as a login shell.
-S socket-path
Specify a full alternative path to the server socket. If
-S is specified, the default socket directory is not used
and any -L flag is ignored.
-u Write UTF-8 output to the terminal even if the first envi‐
ronment variable of LC_ALL, LC_CTYPE, or LANG that is set
does not contain "UTF-8" or "UTF8".
-v Request verbose logging. Log messages will be saved into
tmux-client-PID.log and tmux-server-PID.log files in the
current directory, where PID is the PID of the server or
client process. If -v is specified twice, an additional
tmux-out-PID.log file is generated with a copy of every‐
thing tmux writes to the terminal.
The SIGUSR2 signal may be sent to the tmux server process
to toggle logging between on (as if -v was given) and off.
-V Report the tmux version.
command [flags]
This specifies one of a set of commands used to control
tmux, as described in the following sections. If no com‐
mands are specified, the new-session command is assumed.
tmux may be controlled from an attached client by using a key combination
of a prefix key, ‘C-b’ (Ctrl-b) by default, followed by a command key.
The default command key bindings are:
C-b Send the prefix key (C-b) through to the application.
C-o Rotate the panes in the current window forwards.
C-z Suspend the tmux client.
! Break the current pane out of the window.
" Split the current pane into two, top and bottom.
# List all paste buffers.
$ Rename the current session.
% Split the current pane into two, left and right.
& Kill the current window.
' Prompt for a window index to select.
( Switch the attached client to the previous session.
) Switch the attached client to the next session.
, Rename the current window.
- Delete the most recently copied buffer of text.
. Prompt for an index to move the current window.
0 to 9 Select windows 0 to 9.
: Enter the tmux command prompt.
; Move to the previously active pane.
= Choose which buffer to paste interactively from a list.
? List all key bindings.
D Choose a client to detach.
L Switch the attached client back to the last session.
[ Enter copy mode to copy text or view the history.
] Paste the most recently copied buffer of text.
c Create a new window.
d Detach the current client.
f Prompt to search for text in open windows.
i Display some information about the current window.
l Move to the previously selected window.
m Mark the current pane (see select-pane -m).
M Clear the marked pane.
n Change to the next window.
o Select the next pane in the current window.
p Change to the previous window.
q Briefly display pane indexes.
r Force redraw of the attached client.
s Select a new session for the attached client interac‐
t Show the time.
w Choose the current window interactively.
x Kill the current pane.
z Toggle zoom state of the current pane.
{ Swap the current pane with the previous pane.
} Swap the current pane with the next pane.
~ Show previous messages from tmux, if any.
Page Up Enter copy mode and scroll one page up.
Up, Down
Left, Right
Change to the pane above, below, to the left, or to the
right of the current pane.
M-1 to M-5 Arrange panes in one of the five preset layouts: even-
horizontal, even-vertical, main-horizontal, main-verti‐
cal, or tiled.
Space Arrange the current window in the next preset layout.
M-n Move to the next window with a bell or activity marker.
M-o Rotate the panes in the current window backwards.
M-p Move to the previous window with a bell or activity
C-Up, C-Down
C-Left, C-Right
Resize the current pane in steps of one cell.
M-Up, M-Down
M-Left, M-Right
Resize the current pane in steps of five cells.
Key bindings may be changed with the bind-key and unbind-key commands.
tmux supports a large number of commands which can be used to control its
behaviour. Each command is named and can accept zero or more flags and
arguments. They may be bound to a key with the bind-key command or run
from the shell prompt, a shell script, a configuration file or the com‐
mand prompt. For example, the same set-option command run from the shell
prompt, from ~/.tmux.conf and bound to a key may look like:
$ tmux set-option -g status-style bg=cyan
set-option -g status-style bg=cyan
bind-key C set-option -g status-style bg=cyan
Here, the command name is ‘set-option’, ‘-g’ is a flag and ‘status-style’
and ‘bg=cyan’ are arguments.
tmux distinguishes between command parsing and execution. In order to
execute a command, tmux needs it to be split up into its name and argu‐
ments. This is command parsing. If a command is run from the shell, the
shell parses it; from inside tmux or from a configuration file, tmux
does. Examples of when tmux parses commands are:
- in a configuration file;
- typed at the command prompt (see command-prompt);
- given to bind-key;
- passed as arguments to if-shell or confirm-before.
To execute commands, each client has a ‘command queue’. A global command
queue not attached to any client is used on startup for configuration
files like ~/.tmux.conf. Parsed commands added to the queue are executed
in order. Some commands, like if-shell and confirm-before, parse their
argument to create a new command which is inserted immediately after
themselves. This means that arguments can be parsed twice or more - once
when the parent command (such as if-shell) is parsed and again when it
parses and executes its command. Commands like if-shell, run-shell and
display-panes stop execution of subsequent commands on the queue until
something happens - if-shell and run-shell until a shell command finishes
and display-panes until a key is pressed. For example, the following
new-session; new-window
if-shell "true" "split-window"
Will execute new-session, new-window, if-shell, the shell command
true(1), split-window and kill-session in that order.
The COMMANDS section lists the tmux commands and their arguments.
This section describes the syntax of commands parsed by tmux, for example
in a configuration file or at the command prompt. Note that when com‐
mands are entered into the shell, they are parsed by the shell - see for
example ksh(1) or csh(1).
Each command is terminated by a newline or a semicolon (;). Commands
separated by semicolons together form a ‘command sequence’ - if a command
in the sequence encounters an error, no subsequent commands are executed.
Comments are marked by the unquoted # character - any remaining text
after a comment is ignored until the end of the line.
If the last character of a line is \, the line is joined with the follow‐
ing line (the \ and the newline are completely removed). This is called
line continuation and applies both inside and outside quoted strings and
in comments, but not inside braces.
Command arguments may be specified as strings surrounded by single (')
quotes, double quotes (") or braces ({}). This is required when the
argument contains any special character. Single and double quoted
strings cannot span multiple lines except with line continuation. Braces
can span multiple lines.
Outside of quotes and inside double quotes, these replacements are per‐
- Environment variables preceded by $ are replaced with their
value from the global environment (see the GLOBAL AND SESSION
- A leading ~ or ~user is expanded to the home directory of the
current or specified user.
- \uXXXX or \uXXXXXXXX is replaced by the Unicode codepoint cor‐
responding to the given four or eight digit hexadecimal number.
- When preceded (escaped) by a \, the following characters are
replaced: \e by the escape character; \r by a carriage return;
\n by a newline; and \t by a tab.
- \ooo is replaced by a character of the octal value ooo. Three
octal digits are required, for example \001. The largest valid
character is \377.
- Any other characters preceded by \ are replaced by themselves
(that is, the \ is removed) and are not treated as having any
special meaning - so for example \; will not mark a command
sequence and \$ will not expand an environment variable.
Braces are similar to single quotes in that the text inside is taken lit‐
erally without any replacements but this also includes line continuation.
Braces can span multiple lines in which case a literal newline is
included in the string. They are designed to avoid the need for addi‐
tional escaping when passing a group of tmux or shell commands as an
argument (for example to if-shell or pipe-pane). These two examples pro‐
duce an identical command - note that no escaping is needed when using
if-shell true {
display -p 'brace-dollar-foo: }$foo'
if-shell true "\n display -p 'brace-dollar-foo: }\$foo'\n"
Braces may be enclosed inside braces, for example:
bind x if-shell "true" {
if-shell "true" {
display "true!"
Environment variables may be set by using the syntax ‘name=value’, for
example ‘HOME=/home/user’. Variables set during parsing are added to the
global environment.
Commands may be parsed conditionally by surrounding them with ‘%if’,
‘%elif’, ‘%else’ and ‘%endif’. The argument to ‘%if’ and ‘%elif’ is
expanded as a format (see FORMATS) and if it evaluates to false (zero or
empty), subsequent text is ignored until the closing ‘%elif’, ‘%else’ or
‘%endif’. For example:
%if "#{==:#{host},myhost}"
set -g status-style bg=red
%elif "#{==:#{host},myotherhost}"
set -g status-style bg=green
set -g status-style bg=blue
Will change the status line to red if running on ‘myhost’, green if run‐
ning on ‘myotherhost’, or blue if running on another host. Conditionals
may be given on one line, for example:
%if #{==:#{host},myhost} set -g status-style bg=red %endif
This section describes the commands supported by tmux. Most commands
accept the optional -t (and sometimes -s) argument with one of
target-client, target-session, target-window, or target-pane. These
specify the client, session, window or pane which a command should
target-client should be the name of the client, typically the pty(4) file
to which the client is connected, for example either of /dev/ttyp1 or
ttyp1 for the client attached to /dev/ttyp1. If no client is specified,
tmux attempts to work out the client currently in use; if that fails, an
error is reported. Clients may be listed with the list-clients command.
target-session is tried as, in order:
1. A session ID prefixed with a $.
2. An exact name of a session (as listed by the list-sessions
3. The start of a session name, for example ‘mysess’ would match
a session named ‘mysession’.
4. An fnmatch(3) pattern which is matched against the session
If the session name is prefixed with an ‘=’, only an exact match is
accepted (so ‘=mysess’ will only match exactly ‘mysess’, not
If a single session is found, it is used as the target session; multiple
matches produce an error. If a session is omitted, the current session
is used if available; if no current session is available, the most
recently used is chosen.
target-window (or src-window or dst-window) specifies a window in the
form session:window. session follows the same rules as for
target-session, and window is looked for in order as:
1. A special token, listed below.
2. A window index, for example ‘mysession:1’ is window 1 in ses‐
sion ‘mysession’.
3. A window ID, such as @1.
4. An exact window name, such as ‘mysession:mywindow’.
5. The start of a window name, such as ‘mysession:mywin’.
6. As an fnmatch(3) pattern matched against the window name.
Like sessions, a ‘=’ prefix will do an exact match only. An empty window
name specifies the next unused index if appropriate (for example the
new-window and link-window commands) otherwise the current window in
session is chosen.
The following special tokens are available to indicate particular win‐
dows. Each has a single-character alternative form.
Token Meaning
{start} ^ The lowest-numbered window
{end} $ The highest-numbered window
{last} ! The last (previously current) window
{next} + The next window by number
{previous} - The previous window by number
target-pane (or src-pane or dst-pane) may be a pane ID or takes a similar
form to target-window but with the optional addition of a period followed
by a pane index or pane ID, for example: ‘mysession:mywindow.1’. If the
pane index is omitted, the currently active pane in the specified window
is used. The following special tokens are available for the pane index:
Token Meaning
{last} ! The last (previously active) pane
{next} + The next pane by number
{previous} - The previous pane by number
{top} The top pane
{bottom} The bottom pane
{left} The leftmost pane
{right} The rightmost pane
{top-left} The top-left pane
{top-right} The top-right pane
{bottom-left} The bottom-left pane
{bottom-right} The bottom-right pane
{up-of} The pane above the active pane
{down-of} The pane below the active pane
{left-of} The pane to the left of the active pane
{right-of} The pane to the right of the active pane
The tokens ‘+’ and ‘-’ may be followed by an offset, for example:
select-window -t:+2
In addition, target-session, target-window or target-pane may consist
entirely of the token ‘{mouse}’ (alternative form ‘=’) to specify the
session, window or pane where the most recent mouse event occurred (see
the MOUSE SUPPORT section) or ‘{marked}’ (alternative form ‘~’) to spec‐
ify the marked pane (see select-pane -m).
Sessions, window and panes are each numbered with a unique ID; session
IDs are prefixed with a ‘$’, windows with a ‘@’, and panes with a ‘%’.
These are unique and are unchanged for the life of the session, window or
pane in the tmux server. The pane ID is passed to the child process of
the pane in the TMUX_PANE environment variable. IDs may be displayed
using the ‘session_id’, ‘window_id’, or ‘pane_id’ formats (see the
FORMATS section) and the display-message, list-sessions, list-windows or
list-panes commands.
shell-command arguments are sh(1) commands. This may be a single argu‐
ment passed to the shell, for example:
new-window 'vi /etc/passwd'
Will run:
/bin/sh -c 'vi /etc/passwd'
Additionally, the new-window, new-session, split-window, respawn-window
and respawn-pane commands allow shell-command to be given as multiple
arguments and executed directly (without ‘sh -c’). This can avoid issues
with shell quoting. For example:
$ tmux new-window vi /etc/passwd
Will run vi(1) directly without invoking the shell.
command [arguments] refers to a tmux command, either passed with the com‐
mand and arguments separately, for example:
bind-key F1 set-option status off
Or passed as a single string argument in .tmux.conf, for example:
bind-key F1 { set-option status off }
Example tmux commands include:
refresh-client -t/dev/ttyp2
rename-session -tfirst newname
set-option -wt:0 monitor-activity on
new-window ; split-window -d
bind-key R source-file ~/.tmux.conf \; \
display-message "source-file done"
Or from sh(1):
$ tmux kill-window -t :1
$ tmux new-window \; split-window -d
$ tmux new-session -d 'vi /etc/passwd' \; split-window -d \; attach
The tmux server manages clients, sessions, windows and panes. Clients
are attached to sessions to interact with them, either when they are cre‐
ated with the new-session command, or later with the attach-session com‐
mand. Each session has one or more windows linked into it. Windows may
be linked to multiple sessions and are made up of one or more panes, each
of which contains a pseudo terminal. Commands for creating, linking and
otherwise manipulating windows are covered in the WINDOWS AND PANES sec‐
The following commands are available to manage clients and sessions:
attach-session [-dErx] [-c working-directory] [-t target-session]
(alias: attach)
If run from outside tmux, create a new client in the current ter‐
minal and attach it to target-session. If used from inside,
switch the current client. If -d is specified, any other clients
attached to the session are detached. If -x is given, send
SIGHUP to the parent process of the client as well as detaching
the client, typically causing it to exit. -r signifies the
client is read-only (only keys bound to the detach-client or
switch-client commands have any effect)
If no server is started, attach-session will attempt to start it;
this will fail unless sessions are created in the configuration
The target-session rules for attach-session are slightly
adjusted: if tmux needs to select the most recently used session,
it will prefer the most recently used unattached session.
-c will set the session working directory (used for new windows)
to working-directory.
If -E is used, the update-environment option will not be applied.
detach-client [-aP] [-E shell-command] [-s target-session] [-t
(alias: detach)
Detach the current client if bound to a key, the client specified
with -t, or all clients currently attached to the session speci‐
fied by -s. The -a option kills all but the client given with
-t. If -P is given, send SIGHUP to the parent process of the
client, typically causing it to exit. With -E, run shell-command
to replace the client.
has-session [-t target-session]
(alias: has)
Report an error and exit with 1 if the specified session does not
exist. If it does exist, exit with 0.
Kill the tmux server and clients and destroy all sessions.
kill-session [-aC] [-t target-session]
Destroy the given session, closing any windows linked to it and
no other sessions, and detaching all clients attached to it. If
-a is given, all sessions but the specified one is killed. The
-C flag clears alerts (bell, activity, or silence) in all windows
linked to the session.
list-clients [-F format] [-t target-session]
(alias: lsc)
List all clients attached to the server. For the meaning of the
-F flag, see the FORMATS section. If target-session is speci‐
fied, list only clients connected to that session.
list-commands [-F format]
(alias: lscm)
List the syntax of all commands supported by tmux.
list-sessions [-F format]
(alias: ls)
List all sessions managed by the server. For the meaning of the
-F flag, see the FORMATS section.
lock-client [-t target-client]
(alias: lockc)
Lock target-client, see the lock-server command.
lock-session [-t target-session]
(alias: locks)
Lock all clients attached to target-session.
new-session [-AdDEPX] [-c start-directory] [-F format] [-n window-name]
[-s session-name] [-t group-name] [-x width] [-y height]
(alias: new)
Create a new session with name session-name.
The new session is attached to the current terminal unless -d is
given. window-name and shell-command are the name of and shell
command to execute in the initial window. With -d, the initial
size comes from the global default-size option; -x and -y can be
used to specify a different size. ‘-’ uses the size of the cur‐
rent client if any. If -x or -y is given, the default-size
option is set for the session.
If run from a terminal, any termios(4) special characters are
saved and used for new windows in the new session.
The -A flag makes new-session behave like attach-session if
session-name already exists; in this case, -D behaves like -d to
attach-session, and -X behaves like -x to attach-session.
If -t is given, it specifies a session group. Sessions in the
same group share the same set of windows - new windows are linked
to all sessions in the group and any windows closed removed from
all sessions. The current and previous window and any session
options remain independent and any session in a group may be
killed without affecting the others. The group-name argument may
1. the name of an existing group, in which case the new ses‐
sion is added to that group;
2. the name of an existing session - the new session is
added to the same group as that session, creating a new
group if necessary;
3. the name for a new group containing only the new session.
-n and shell-command are invalid if -t is used.
The -P option prints information about the new session after it
has been created. By default, it uses the format
‘#{session_name}:’ but a different format may be specified with
If -E is used, the update-environment option will not be applied.
refresh-client [-cDlLRSU] [-C XxY] [-F flags] [-t target-client]
(alias: refresh)
Refresh the current client if bound to a key, or a single client
if one is given with -t. If -S is specified, only update the
client's status line.
The -U, -D, -L -R, and -c flags allow the visible portion of a
window which is larger than the client to be changed. -U moves
the visible part up by adjustment rows and -D down, -L left by
adjustment columns and -R right. -c returns to tracking the cur‐
sor automatically. If adjustment is omitted, 1 is used. Note
that the visible position is a property of the client not of the
window, changing the current window in the attached session will
reset it.
-C sets the width and height of a control client and -F sets a
comma-separated list of flags. Currently the only flag available
is ‘no-output’ to disable receiving pane output.
-l requests the clipboard from the client using the xterm(1)
escape sequence and stores it in a new paste buffer.
-L, -R, -U and -D move the visible portion of the window left,
right, up or down by adjustment, if the window is larger than the
client. -c resets so that the position follows the cursor. See
the window-size option.
rename-session [-t target-session] new-name
(alias: rename)
Rename the session to new-name.
show-messages [-JT] [-t target-client]
(alias: showmsgs)
Show client messages or server information. Any messages dis‐
played on the status line are saved in a per-client message log,
up to a maximum of the limit set by the message-limit server
option. With -t, display the log for target-client. -J and -T
show debugging information about jobs and terminals.
source-file [-nqv] path ...
(alias: source)
Execute commands from one or more files specified by path (which
may be glob(7) patterns). If -q is given, no error will be
returned if path does not exist. With -n, the file is parsed but
no commands are executed. -v shows the parsed commands and line
numbers if possible.
(alias: start)
Start the tmux server, if not already running, without creating
any sessions.
suspend-client [-t target-client]
(alias: suspendc)
Suspend a client by sending SIGTSTP (tty stop).
switch-client [-ElnprZ] [-c target-client] [-t target-session] [-T
(alias: switchc)
Switch the current session for client target-client to
target-session. As a special case, -t may refer to a pane (a
target that contains ‘:’, ‘.’ or ‘%’), to change session, window
and pane. In that case, -Z keeps the window zoomed if it was
zoomed. If -l, -n or -p is used, the client is moved to the
last, next or previous session respectively. -r toggles whether
a client is read-only (see the attach-session command).
If -E is used, update-environment option will not be applied.
-T sets the client's key table; the next key from the client will
be interpreted from key-table. This may be used to configure
multiple prefix keys, or to bind commands to sequences of keys.
For example, to make typing ‘abc’ run the list-keys command:
bind-key -Ttable2 c list-keys
bind-key -Ttable1 b switch-client -Ttable2
bind-key -Troot a switch-client -Ttable1
Each window displayed by tmux may be split into one or more panes; each
pane takes up a certain area of the display and is a separate terminal.
A window may be split into panes using the split-window command. Windows
may be split horizontally (with the -h flag) or vertically. Panes may be
resized with the resize-pane command (bound to ‘C-Up’, ‘C-Down’ ‘C-Left’
and ‘C-Right’ by default), the current pane may be changed with the
select-pane command and the rotate-window and swap-pane commands may be
used to swap panes without changing their position. Panes are numbered
beginning from zero in the order they are created.
By default, a tmux pane permits direct access to the terminal contained
in the pane. A pane may also be put into one of several modes:
- Copy mode, which permits a section of a window or its history
to be copied to a paste buffer for later insertion into another
window. This mode is entered with the copy-mode command, bound
to ‘[’ by default.
- View mode, which is like copy mode but is entered when a com‐
mand that produces output, such as list-keys, is executed from
a key binding.
- Choose mode, which allows an item to be chosen from a list.
This may be a client, a session or window or pane, or a buffer.
This mode is entered with the choose-buffer, choose-client and
choose-tree commands.
In copy mode an indicator is displayed in the top-right corner of the
pane with the current position and the number of lines in the history.
Commands are sent to copy mode using the -X flag to the send-keys com‐
mand. When a key is pressed, copy mode automatically uses one of two key
tables, depending on the mode-keys option: copy-mode for emacs, or
copy-mode-vi for vi. Key tables may be viewed with the list-keys com‐
The following commands are supported in copy mode:
Command vi emacs
append-selection-and-cancel A
back-to-indentation ^ M-m
begin-selection Space C-Space
bottom-line L
cancel q Escape
clear-selection Escape C-g
copy-end-of-line [<prefix>] D C-k
copy-line [<prefix>]
copy-pipe <command> [<prefix>]
copy-pipe-no-clear <command> [<prefix>]
copy-pipe-and-cancel <command> [<prefix>]
copy-selection [<prefix>]
copy-selection-no-clear [<prefix>]
copy-selection-and-cancel [<prefix>] Enter M-w
cursor-down j Down
cursor-left h Left
cursor-right l Right
cursor-up k Up
end-of-line $ C-e
goto-line <line> : g
halfpage-down C-d M-Down
halfpage-up C-u M-Up
history-bottom G M->
history-top g M-<
jump-again ; ;
jump-backward <to> F F
jump-forward <to> f f
jump-reverse , ,
jump-to-backward <to> T
jump-to-forward <to> t
middle-line M M-r
next-matching-bracket % M-C-f
next-paragraph } M-}
next-space W
next-space-end E
next-word w
next-word-end e M-f
other-end o
page-down C-f PageDown
page-up C-b PageUp
previous-matching-bracket M-C-b
previous-paragraph { M-{
previous-space B
previous-word b M-b
rectangle-toggle v R
scroll-down C-e C-Down
scroll-up C-y C-Up
search-again n n
search-backward <for> ?
search-forward <for> /
search-backward-incremental <for> C-r
search-forward-incremental <for> C-s
search-reverse N N
select-line V
start-of-line 0 C-a
top-line H M-R
Copy commands may take an optional buffer prefix argument which is used
to generate the buffer name (the default is ‘buffer’ so buffers are named
‘buffer0’, ‘buffer1’ and so on). Pipe commands take a command argument
which is the command to which the copied text is piped. The
‘-and-cancel’ variants of some commands exit copy mode after they have
completed (for copy commands) or when the cursor reaches the bottom (for
scrolling commands). ‘-no-clear’ variants do not clear the selection.
The next and previous word keys use space and the ‘-’, ‘_’ and ‘@’ char‐
acters as word delimiters by default, but this can be adjusted by setting
the word-separators session option. Next word moves to the start of the
next word, next word end to the end of the next word and previous word to
the start of the previous word. The three next and previous space keys
work similarly but use a space alone as the word separator.
The jump commands enable quick movement within a line. For instance,
typing ‘f’ followed by ‘/’ will move the cursor to the next ‘/’ character
on the current line. A ‘;’ will then jump to the next occurrence.
Commands in copy mode may be prefaced by an optional repeat count. With
vi key bindings, a prefix is entered using the number keys; with emacs,
the Alt (meta) key and a number begins prefix entry.
The synopsis for the copy-mode command is:
copy-mode [-Meu] [-t target-pane]
Enter copy mode. The -u option scrolls one page up. -M begins a
mouse drag (only valid if bound to a mouse key binding, see MOUSE
SUPPORT). -e specifies that scrolling to the bottom of the his‐
tory (to the visible screen) should exit copy mode. While in
copy mode, pressing a key other than those used for scrolling
will disable this behaviour. This is intended to allow fast
scrolling through a pane's history, for example with:
bind PageUp copy-mode -eu
A number of preset arrangements of panes are available, these are called
layouts. These may be selected with the select-layout command or cycled
with next-layout (bound to ‘Space’ by default); once a layout is chosen,
panes within it may be moved and resized as normal.
The following layouts are supported:
Panes are spread out evenly from left to right across the window.
Panes are spread evenly from top to bottom.
A large (main) pane is shown at the top of the window and the
remaining panes are spread from left to right in the leftover
space at the bottom. Use the main-pane-height window option to
specify the height of the top pane.
Similar to main-horizontal but the large pane is placed on the
left and the others spread from top to bottom along the right.
See the main-pane-width window option.
tiled Panes are spread out as evenly as possible over the window in
both rows and columns.
In addition, select-layout may be used to apply a previously used layout
- the list-windows command displays the layout of each window in a form
suitable for use with select-layout. For example:
$ tmux list-windows
0: ksh [159x48]
layout: bb62,159x48,0,0{79x48,0,0,79x48,80,0}
$ tmux select-layout bb62,159x48,0,0{79x48,0,0,79x48,80,0}
tmux automatically adjusts the size of the layout for the current window
size. Note that a layout cannot be applied to a window with more panes
than that from which the layout was originally defined.
Commands related to windows and panes are as follows:
break-pane [-dP] [-F format] [-n window-name] [-s src-pane] [-t
(alias: breakp)
Break src-pane off from its containing window to make it the only
pane in dst-window. If -d is given, the new window does not
become the current window. The -P option prints information
about the new window after it has been created. By default, it
uses the format ‘#{session_name}:#{window_index}’ but a different
format may be specified with -F.
capture-pane [-aepPqCJN] [-b buffer-name] [-E end-line] [-S start-line]
[-t target-pane]
(alias: capturep)
Capture the contents of a pane. If -p is given, the output goes
to stdout, otherwise to the buffer specified with -b or a new
buffer if omitted. If -a is given, the alternate screen is used,
and the history is not accessible. If no alternate screen
exists, an error will be returned unless -q is given. If -e is
given, the output includes escape sequences for text and back‐
ground attributes. -C also escapes non-printable characters as
octal \xxx. -N preserves trailing spaces at each line's end and
-J preserves trailing spaces and joins any wrapped lines. -P
captures only any output that the pane has received that is the
beginning of an as-yet incomplete escape sequence.
-S and -E specify the starting and ending line numbers, zero is
the first line of the visible pane and negative numbers are lines
in the history. ‘-’ to -S is the start of the history and to -E
the end of the visible pane. The default is to capture only the
visible contents of the pane.
choose-client [-NrZ] [-F format] [-f filter] [-O sort-order] [-t
target-pane] [template]
Put a pane into client mode, allowing a client to be selected
interactively from a list. -Z zooms the pane. The following
keys may be used in client mode:
Key Function
Enter Choose selected client
Up Select previous client
Down Select next client
C-s Search by name
n Repeat last search
t Toggle if client is tagged
T Tag no clients
C-t Tag all clients
d Detach selected client
D Detach tagged clients
x Detach and HUP selected client
X Detach and HUP tagged clients
z Suspend selected client
Z Suspend tagged clients
f Enter a format to filter items
O Change sort field
r Reverse sort order
v Toggle preview
q Exit mode
After a client is chosen, ‘%%’ is replaced by the client name in
template and the result executed as a command. If template is
not given, "detach-client -t '%%'" is used.
-O specifies the initial sort field: one of ‘name’, ‘size’,
‘creation’, or ‘activity’. -r reverses the sort order. -f spec‐
ifies an initial filter: the filter is a format - if it evaluates
to zero, the item in the list is not shown, otherwise it is
shown. If a filter would lead to an empty list, it is ignored.
-F specifies the format for each item in the list. -N starts
without the preview. This command works only if at least one
client is attached.
choose-tree [-GNrswZ] [-F format] [-f filter] [-O sort-order] [-t
target-pane] [template]
Put a pane into tree mode, where a session, window or pane may be
chosen interactively from a list. -s starts with sessions col‐
lapsed and -w with windows collapsed. -Z zooms the pane. The
following keys may be used in tree mode:
Key Function
Enter Choose selected item
Up Select previous item
Down Select next item
x Kill selected item
X Kill tagged items
< Scroll list of previews left
> Scroll list of previews right
C-s Search by name
n Repeat last search
t Toggle if item is tagged
T Tag no items
C-t Tag all items
: Run a command for each tagged item
f Enter a format to filter items
O Change sort field
r Reverse sort order
v Toggle preview
q Exit mode
After a session, window or pane is chosen, ‘%%’ is replaced by
the target in template and the result executed as a command. If
template is not given, "switch-client -t '%%'" is used.
-O specifies the initial sort field: one of ‘index’, ‘name’, or
‘time’. -r reverses the sort order. -f specifies an initial
filter: the filter is a format - if it evaluates to zero, the
item in the list is not shown, otherwise it is shown. If a fil‐
ter would lead to an empty list, it is ignored. -F specifies the
format for each item in the tree. -N starts without the preview.
-G includes all sessions in any session groups in the tree rather
than only the first. This command works only if at least one
client is attached.
display-panes [-b] [-d duration] [-t target-client] [template]
(alias: displayp)
Display a visible indicator of each pane shown by target-client.
See the display-panes-colour and display-panes-active-colour ses‐
sion options. The indicator is closed when a key is pressed or
duration milliseconds have passed. If -d is not given,
display-panes-time is used. A duration of zero means the indica‐
tor stays until a key is pressed. While the indicator is on
screen, a pane may be chosen with the ‘0’ to ‘9’ keys, which will
cause template to be executed as a command with ‘%%’ substituted
by the pane ID. The default template is "select-pane -t '%%'".
With -b, other commands are not blocked from running until the
indicator is closed.
find-window [-rCNTZ] [-t target-pane] match-string
(alias: findw)
Search for a fnmatch(3) pattern or, with -r, regular expression
match-string in window names, titles, and visible content (but
not history). The flags control matching behavior: -C matches
only visible window contents, -N matches only the window name and
-T matches only the window title. The default is -CNT. -Z zooms
the pane.
This command works only if at least one client is attached.
join-pane [-bdfhv] [-l size] [-s src-pane] [-t dst-pane]
(alias: joinp)
Like split-window, but instead of splitting dst-pane and creating
a new pane, split it and move src-pane into the space. This can
be used to reverse break-pane. The -b option causes src-pane to
be joined to left of or above dst-pane.
If -s is omitted and a marked pane is present (see select-pane
-m), the marked pane is used rather than the current pane.
kill-pane [-a] [-t target-pane]
(alias: killp)
Destroy the given pane. If no panes remain in the containing
window, it is also destroyed. The -a option kills all but the
pane given with -t.
kill-window [-a] [-t target-window]
(alias: killw)
Kill the current window or the window at target-window, removing
it from any sessions to which it is linked. The -a option kills
all but the window given with -t.
last-pane [-deZ] [-t target-window]
(alias: lastp)
Select the last (previously selected) pane. -Z keeps the window
zoomed if it was zoomed. -e enables or -d disables input to the
last-window [-t target-session]
(alias: last)
Select the last (previously selected) window. If no
target-session is specified, select the last window of the cur‐
rent session.
link-window [-adk] [-s src-window] [-t dst-window]
(alias: linkw)
Link the window at src-window to the specified dst-window. If
dst-window is specified and no such window exists, the src-window
is linked there. With -a, the window is moved to the next index
up (following windows are moved if necessary). If -k is given
and dst-window exists, it is killed, otherwise an error is gener‐
ated. If -d is given, the newly linked window is not selected.
list-panes [-as] [-F format] [-t target]
(alias: lsp)
If -a is given, target is ignored and all panes on the server are
listed. If -s is given, target is a session (or the current ses‐
sion). If neither is given, target is a window (or the current
window). For the meaning of the -F flag, see the FORMATS sec‐
list-windows [-a] [-F format] [-t target-session]
(alias: lsw)
If -a is given, list all windows on the server. Otherwise, list
windows in the current session or in target-session. For the
meaning of the -F flag, see the FORMATS section.
move-pane [-bdhv] [-l size] [-s src-pane] [-t dst-pane]
(alias: movep)
Like join-pane, but src-pane and dst-pane may belong to the same
move-window [-ardk] [-s src-window] [-t dst-window]
(alias: movew)
This is similar to link-window, except the window at src-window
is moved to dst-window. With -r, all windows in the session are
renumbered in sequential order, respecting the base-index option.
new-window [-adkP] [-c start-directory] [-e environment] [-F format] [-n
window-name] [-t target-window] [shell-command]
(alias: neww)
Create a new window. With -a, the new window is inserted at the
next index up from the specified target-window, moving windows up
if necessary, otherwise target-window is the new window location.
If -d is given, the session does not make the new window the cur‐
rent window. target-window represents the window to be created;
if the target already exists an error is shown, unless the -k
flag is used, in which case it is destroyed. shell-command is
the command to execute. If shell-command is not specified, the
value of the default-command option is used. -c specifies the
working directory in which the new window is created.
When the shell command completes, the window closes. See the
remain-on-exit option to change this behaviour.
-e takes the form ‘VARIABLE=value’ and sets an environment vari‐
able for the newly created window; it may be specified multiple
The TERM environment variable must be set to ‘screen’ or ‘tmux’
for all programs running inside tmux. New windows will automati‐
cally have ‘TERM=screen’ added to their environment, but care
must be taken not to reset this in shell start-up files or by the
-e option.
The -P option prints information about the new window after it
has been created. By default, it uses the format
‘#{session_name}:#{window_index}’ but a different format may be
specified with -F.
next-layout [-t target-window]
(alias: nextl)
Move a window to the next layout and rearrange the panes to fit.
next-window [-a] [-t target-session]
(alias: next)
Move to the next window in the session. If -a is used, move to
the next window with an alert.
pipe-pane [-IOo] [-t target-pane] [shell-command]
(alias: pipep)
Pipe output sent by the program in target-pane to a shell command
or vice versa. A pane may only be connected to one command at a
time, any existing pipe is closed before shell-command is exe‐
cuted. The shell-command string may contain the special charac‐
ter sequences supported by the status-left option. If no
shell-command is given, the current pipe (if any) is closed.
-I and -O specify which of the shell-command output streams are
connected to the pane: with -I stdout is connected (so anything
shell-command prints is written to the pane as if it were typed);
with -O stdin is connected (so any output in the pane is piped to
shell-command). Both may be used together and if neither are
specified, -O is used.
The -o option only opens a new pipe if no previous pipe exists,
allowing a pipe to be toggled with a single key, for example:
bind-key C-p pipe-pane -o 'cat >>~/output.#I-#P'
previous-layout [-t target-window]
(alias: prevl)
Move to the previous layout in the session.
previous-window [-a] [-t target-session]
(alias: prev)
Move to the previous window in the session. With -a, move to the
previous window with an alert.
rename-window [-t target-window] new-name
(alias: renamew)
Rename the current window, or the window at target-window if
specified, to new-name.
resize-pane [-DLMRUZ] [-t target-pane] [-x width] [-y height]
(alias: resizep)
Resize a pane, up, down, left or right by adjustment with -U, -D,
-L or -R, or to an absolute size with -x or -y. The adjustment
is given in lines or columns (the default is 1); -x and -y may be
a given as a number of lines or columns or followed by ‘%’ for a
percentage of the window size (for example ‘-x 10%’). With -Z,
the active pane is toggled between zoomed (occupying the whole of
the window) and unzoomed (its normal position in the layout).
-M begins mouse resizing (only valid if bound to a mouse key
binding, see MOUSE SUPPORT).
resize-window [-aADLRU] [-t target-window] [-x width] [-y height]
(alias: resizew)
Resize a window, up, down, left or right by adjustment with -U,
-D, -L or -R, or to an absolute size with -x or -y. The
adjustment is given in lines or cells (the default is 1). -A
sets the size of the largest session containing the window; -a
the size of the smallest. This command will automatically set
window-size to manual in the window options.
respawn-pane [-k] [-c start-directory] [-e environment] [-t target-pane]
(alias: respawnp)
Reactivate a pane in which the command has exited (see the
remain-on-exit window option). If shell-command is not given,
the command used when the pane was created is executed. The pane
must be already inactive, unless -k is given, in which case any
existing command is killed. -c specifies a new working directory
for the pane. The -e option has the same meaning as for the
new-window command.
respawn-window [-k] [-c start-directory] [-e environment] [-t
target-window] [shell-command]
(alias: respawnw)
Reactivate a window in which the command has exited (see the
remain-on-exit window option). If shell-command is not given,
the command used when the window was created is executed. The
window must be already inactive, unless -k is given, in which
case any existing command is killed. -c specifies a new working
directory for the window. The -e option has the same meaning as
for the new-window command.
rotate-window [-DUZ] [-t target-window]
(alias: rotatew)
Rotate the positions of the panes within a window, either upward
(numerically lower) with -U or downward (numerically higher). -Z
keeps the window zoomed if it was zoomed.
select-layout [-Enop] [-t target-pane] [layout-name]
(alias: selectl)
Choose a specific layout for a window. If layout-name is not
given, the last preset layout used (if any) is reapplied. -n and
-p are equivalent to the next-layout and previous-layout com‐
mands. -o applies the last set layout if possible (undoes the
most recent layout change). -E spreads the current pane and any
panes next to it out evenly.
select-pane [-DdeLlMmRUZ] [-T title] [-t target-pane]
(alias: selectp)
Make pane target-pane the active pane in window target-window.
If one of -D, -L, -R, or -U is used, respectively the pane below,
to the left, to the right, or above the target pane is used. -Z
keeps the window zoomed if it was zoomed. -l is the same as
using the last-pane command. -e enables or -d disables input to
the pane. -T sets the pane title.
-m and -M are used to set and clear the marked pane. There is
one marked pane at a time, setting a new marked pane clears the
last. The marked pane is the default target for -s to join-pane,
swap-pane and swap-window.
select-window [-lnpT] [-t target-window]
(alias: selectw)
Select the window at target-window. -l, -n and -p are equivalent
to the last-window, next-window and previous-window commands. If
-T is given and the selected window is already the current win‐
dow, the command behaves like last-window.
split-window [-bdfhIvP] [-c start-directory] [-e environment] [-l size]
[-t target-pane] [shell-command] [-F format]
(alias: splitw)
Create a new pane by splitting target-pane: -h does a horizontal
split and -v a vertical split; if neither is specified, -v is
assumed. The -l option specifies the size of the new pane in
lines (for vertical split) or in columns (for horizontal split);
size may be followed by ‘%’ to specify a percentage of the avail‐
able space. The -b option causes the new pane to be created to
the left of or above target-pane. The -f option creates a new
pane spanning the full window height (with -h) or full window
width (with -v), instead of splitting the active pane.
An empty shell-command ('') will create a pane with no command
running in it. Output can be sent to such a pane with the
display-message command. The -I flag (if shell-command is not
specified or empty) will create an empty pane and forward any
output from stdin to it. For example:
$ make 2>&1|tmux splitw -dI &
All other options have the same meaning as for the new-window
swap-pane [-dDUZ] [-s src-pane] [-t dst-pane]
(alias: swapp)
Swap two panes. If -U is used and no source pane is specified
with -s, dst-pane is swapped with the previous pane (before it
numerically); -D swaps with the next pane (after it numerically).
-d instructs tmux not to change the active pane and -Z keeps the
window zoomed if it was zoomed.
If -s is omitted and a marked pane is present (see select-pane
-m), the marked pane is used rather than the current pane.
swap-window [-d] [-s src-window] [-t dst-window]
(alias: swapw)
This is similar to link-window, except the source and destination
windows are swapped. It is an error if no window exists at
Like swap-pane, if -s is omitted and a marked pane is present
(see select-pane -m), the window containing the marked pane is
used rather than the current window.
unlink-window [-k] [-t target-window]
(alias: unlinkw)
Unlink target-window. Unless -k is given, a window may be
unlinked only if it is linked to multiple sessions - windows may
not be linked to no sessions; if -k is specified and the window
is linked to only one session, it is unlinked and destroyed.
tmux allows a command to be bound to most keys, with or without a prefix
key. When specifying keys, most represent themselves (for example ‘A’ to
‘Z’). Ctrl keys may be prefixed with ‘C-’ or ‘^’, and Alt (meta) with
‘M-’. In addition, the following special key names are accepted: Up,
Down, Left, Right, BSpace, BTab, DC (Delete), End, Enter, Escape, F1 to
F12, Home, IC (Insert), NPage/PageDown/PgDn, PPage/PageUp/PgUp, Space,
and Tab. Note that to bind the ‘"’ or ‘'’ keys, quotation marks are nec‐
essary, for example:
bind-key '"' split-window
bind-key "'" new-window
A command bound to the Any key will execute for all keys which do not
have a more specific binding.
Commands related to key bindings are as follows:
bind-key [-nr] [-T key-table] key command [arguments]
(alias: bind)
Bind key key to command. Keys are bound in a key table. By
default (without -T), the key is bound in the prefix key table.
This table is used for keys pressed after the prefix key (for
example, by default ‘c’ is bound to new-window in the prefix ta‐
ble, so ‘C-b c’ creates a new window). The root table is used
for keys pressed without the prefix key: binding ‘c’ to
new-window in the root table (not recommended) means a plain ‘c’
will create a new window. -n is an alias for -T root. Keys may
also be bound in custom key tables and the switch-client -T com‐
mand used to switch to them from a key binding. The -r flag
indicates this key may repeat, see the repeat-time option.
To view the default bindings and possible commands, see the
list-keys command.
list-keys [-T key-table]
(alias: lsk)
List all key bindings. Without -T all key tables are printed.
With -T only key-table.
send-keys [-FHlMRX] [-N repeat-count] [-t target-pane] key ...
(alias: send)
Send a key or keys to a window. Each argument key is the name of
the key (such as ‘C-a’ or ‘NPage’) to send; if the string is not
recognised as a key, it is sent as a series of characters. All
arguments are sent sequentially from first to last.
The -l flag disables key name lookup and processes the keys as
literal UTF-8 characters. The -H flag expects each key to be a
hexadecimal number for an ASCII character.
The -R flag causes the terminal state to be reset.
-M passes through a mouse event (only valid if bound to a mouse
key binding, see MOUSE SUPPORT).
-X is used to send a command into copy mode - see the WINDOWS AND
PANES section. -N specifies a repeat count and -F expands for‐
mats in arguments where appropriate.
send-prefix [-2] [-t target-pane]
Send the prefix key, or with -2 the secondary prefix key, to a
window as if it was pressed.
unbind-key [-an] [-T key-table] key
(alias: unbind)
Unbind the command bound to key. -n and -T are the same as for
bind-key. If -a is present, all key bindings are removed.
The appearance and behaviour of tmux may be modified by changing the
value of various options. There are four types of option: server
options, session options window options and pane options.
The tmux server has a set of global server options which do not apply to
any particular window or session or pane. These are altered with the
set-option -s command, or displayed with the show-options -s command.
In addition, each individual session may have a set of session options,
and there is a separate set of global session options. Sessions which do
not have a particular option configured inherit the value from the global
session options. Session options are set or unset with the set-option
command and may be listed with the show-options command. The available
server and session options are listed under the set-option command.
Similarly, a set of window options is attached to each window and a set
of pane options to each pane. Pane options inherit from window options.
This means any pane option may be set as a window option to apply the
option to all panes in the window without the option set, for example
these commands will set the background colour to red for all panes except
pane 0:
set -w window-style bg=red
set -pt:.0 window-style bg=blue
There is also a set of global window options from which any unset window
or pane options are inherited. Window and pane options are altered with
set-option -w and -p commands and displayed with show-option -w and -p.
tmux also supports user options which are prefixed with a ‘@’. User
options may have any name, so long as they are prefixed with ‘@’, and be
set to any string. For example:
$ tmux setw -q @foo "abc123"
$ tmux showw -v @foo
Commands which set options are as follows:
set-option [-aFgopqsuw] [-t target-pane] option value
(alias: set)
Set a pane option with -p, a window option with -w, a server
option with -s, otherwise a session option. If the option is not
a user option, -w or -s may be unnecessary - tmux will infer the
type from the option name, assuming -w for pane options. If -g
is given, the global session or window option is set.
-F expands formats in the option value. The -u flag unsets an
option, so a session inherits the option from the global options
(or with -g, restores a global option to the default).
The -o flag prevents setting an option that is already set and
the -q flag suppresses errors about unknown or ambiguous options.
With -a, and if the option expects a string or a style, value is
appended to the existing setting. For example:
set -g status-left "foo"
set -ag status-left "bar"
Will result in ‘foobar’. And:
set -g status-style "bg=red"
set -ag status-style "fg=blue"
Will result in a red background and blue foreground. Without -a,
the result would be the default background and a blue foreground.
show-options [-AgHpqsvw] [-t target-pane] [option]
(alias: show)
Show the pane options (or a single option if option is provided)
with -p, the window options with -w, the server options with -s,
otherwise the session options. If the option is not a user
option, -w or -s may be unnecessary - tmux will infer the type
from the option name, assuming -w for pane options. Global ses‐
sion or window options are listed if -g is used. -v shows only
the option value, not the name. If -q is set, no error will be
returned if option is unset. -H includes hooks (omitted by
default). -A includes options inherited from a parent set of
options, such options are marked with an asterisk. value depends
on the option and may be a number, a string, or a flag (on, off,
or omitted to toggle).
Available server options are:
backspace key
Set the key sent by tmux for backspace.
buffer-limit number
Set the number of buffers; as new buffers are added to the top of
the stack, old ones are removed from the bottom if necessary to
maintain this maximum length.
command-alias[] name=value
This is an array of custom aliases for commands. If an unknown
command matches name, it is replaced with value. For example,
set -s command-alias[100] zoom='resize-pane -Z'
zoom -t:.1
Is equivalent to:
resize-pane -Z -t:.1
Note that aliases are expanded when a command is parsed rather
than when it is executed, so binding an alias with bind-key will
bind the expanded form.
default-terminal terminal
Set the default terminal for new windows created in this session
- the default value of the TERM environment variable. For tmux
to work correctly, this must be set to ‘screen’, ‘tmux’ or a de‐
rivative of them.
escape-time time
Set the time in milliseconds for which tmux waits after an escape
is input to determine if it is part of a function or meta key
sequences. The default is 500 milliseconds.
exit-empty [on | off]
If enabled (the default), the server will exit when there are no
active sessions.
exit-unattached [on | off]
If enabled, the server will exit when there are no attached
focus-events [on | off]
When enabled, focus events are requested from the terminal if
supported and passed through to applications running in tmux.
Attached clients should be detached and attached again after
changing this option.
history-file path
If not empty, a file to which tmux will write command prompt his‐
tory on exit and load it from on start.
message-limit number
Set the number of error or information messages to save in the
message log for each client. The default is 100.
set-clipboard [on | external | off]
Attempt to set the terminal clipboard content using the xterm(1)
escape sequence, if there is an Ms entry in the terminfo(5)
description (see the TERMINFO EXTENSIONS section).
If set to on, tmux will both accept the escape sequence to create
a buffer and attempt to set the terminal clipboard. If set to
external, tmux will attempt to set the terminal clipboard but
ignore attempts by applications to set tmux buffers. If off,
tmux will neither accept the clipboard escape sequence nor
attempt to set the clipboard.
Note that this feature needs to be enabled in xterm(1) by setting
the resource:
disallowedWindowOps: 20,21,SetXprop
Or changing this property from the xterm(1) interactive menu when
terminal-overrides[] string
Allow terminal descriptions read using terminfo(5) to be overrid‐
den. Each entry is a colon-separated string made up of a termi‐
nal type pattern (matched using fnmatch(3)) and a set of
name=value entries.
For example, to set the ‘clear’ terminfo(5) entry to ‘\e[H\e[2J’
for all terminal types matching ‘rxvt*’:
The terminal entry value is passed through strunvis(3) before
user-keys[] key
Set list of user-defined key escape sequences. Each item is
associated with a key named ‘User0’, ‘User1’, and so on.
For example:
set -s user-keys[0] "\e[5;30012~"
bind User0 resize-pane -L 3
Available session options are:
activity-action [any | none | current | other]
Set action on window activity when monitor-activity is on. any
means activity in any window linked to a session causes a bell or
message (depending on visual-activity) in the current window of
that session, none means all activity is ignored (equivalent to
monitor-activity being off), current means only activity in win‐
dows other than the current window are ignored and other means
activity in the current window is ignored but not those in other
assume-paste-time milliseconds
If keys are entered faster than one in milliseconds, they are
assumed to have been pasted rather than typed and tmux key bind‐
ings are not processed. The default is one millisecond and zero
base-index index
Set the base index from which an unused index should be searched
when a new window is created. The default is zero.
bell-action [any | none | current | other]
Set action on a bell in a window when monitor-bell is on. The
values are the same as those for activity-action.
default-command shell-command
Set the command used for new windows (if not specified when the
window is created) to shell-command, which may be any sh(1) com‐
mand. The default is an empty string, which instructs tmux to
create a login shell using the value of the default-shell option.
default-shell path
Specify the default shell. This is used as the login shell for
new windows when the default-command option is set to empty, and
must be the full path of the executable. When started tmux tries
to set a default value from the first suitable of the SHELL envi‐
ronment variable, the shell returned by getpwuid(3), or /bin/sh.
This option should be configured when tmux is used as a login
default-size XxY
Set the default size of new windows when the window-size option
is set to manual or when a session is created with new-session
-d. The value is the width and height separated by an ‘x’ char‐
acter. The default is 80x24.
destroy-unattached [on | off]
If enabled and the session is no longer attached to any clients,
it is destroyed.
detach-on-destroy [on | off]
If on (the default), the client is detached when the session it
is attached to is destroyed. If off, the client is switched to
the most recently active of the remaining sessions.
display-panes-active-colour colour
Set the colour used by the display-panes command to show the
indicator for the active pane.
display-panes-colour colour
Set the colour used by the display-panes command to show the
indicators for inactive panes.
display-panes-time time
Set the time in milliseconds for which the indicators shown by
the display-panes command appear.
display-time time
Set the amount of time for which status line messages and other
on-screen indicators are displayed. If set to 0, messages and
indicators are displayed until a key is pressed. time is in mil‐
history-limit lines
Set the maximum number of lines held in window history. This
setting applies only to new windows - existing window histories
are not resized and retain the limit at the point they were cre‐
key-table key-table
Set the default key table to key-table instead of root.
lock-after-time number
Lock the session (like the lock-session command) after number
seconds of inactivity. The default is not to lock (set to 0).
lock-command shell-command
Command to run when locking each client. The default is to run
lock(1) with -np.
message-command-style style
Set status line message command style. For how to specify style,
see the STYLES section.
message-style style
Set status line message style. For how to specify style, see the
STYLES section.
mouse [on | off]
If on, tmux captures the mouse and allows mouse events to be
bound as key bindings. See the MOUSE SUPPORT section for
prefix key
Set the key accepted as a prefix key. In addition to the stan‐
dard keys described under KEY BINDINGS, prefix can be set to the
special key ‘None’ to set no prefix.
prefix2 key
Set a secondary key accepted as a prefix key. Like prefix,
prefix2 can be set to ‘None’.
renumber-windows [on | off]
If on, when a window is closed in a session, automatically renum‐
ber the other windows in numerical order. This respects the
base-index option if it has been set. If off, do not renumber
the windows.
repeat-time time
Allow multiple commands to be entered without pressing the pre‐
fix-key again in the specified time milliseconds (the default is
500). Whether a key repeats may be set when it is bound using
the -r flag to bind-key. Repeat is enabled for the default keys
bound to the resize-pane command.
set-titles [on | off]
Attempt to set the client terminal title using the tsl and fsl
terminfo(5) entries if they exist. tmux automatically sets these
to the \e]0;...\007 sequence if the terminal appears to be
xterm(1). This option is off by default.
set-titles-string string
String used to set the client terminal title if set-titles is on.
Formats are expanded, see the FORMATS section.
silence-action [any | none | current | other]
Set action on window silence when monitor-silence is on. The
values are the same as those for activity-action.
status [off | on | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5]
Show or hide the status line or specify its size. Using on gives
a status line one row in height; 2, 3, 4 or 5 more rows.
status-format[] format
Specify the format to be used for each line of the status line.
The default builds the top status line from the various individ‐
ual status options below.
status-interval interval
Update the status line every interval seconds. By default,
updates will occur every 15 seconds. A setting of zero disables
redrawing at interval.
status-justify [left | centre | right]
Set the position of the window list component of the status line:
left, centre or right justified.
status-keys [vi | emacs]
Use vi or emacs-style key bindings in the status line, for exam‐
ple at the command prompt. The default is emacs, unless the
VISUAL or EDITOR environment variables are set and contain the
string ‘vi’.
status-left string
Display string (by default the session name) to the left of the
status line. string will be passed through strftime(3). Also
see the FORMATS and STYLES sections.
For details on how the names and titles can be set see the NAMES
AND TITLES section.
Examples are:
#(sysctl vm.loadavg)
#[fg=yellow,bold]#(apm -l)%%#[default] [#S]
The default is ‘[#S] ’.
status-left-length length
Set the maximum length of the left component of the status line.
The default is 10.
status-left-style style
Set the style of the left part of the status line. For how to
specify style, see the STYLES section.
status-position [top | bottom]
Set the position of the status line.
status-right string
Display string to the right of the status line. By default, the
current pane title in double quotes, the date and the time are
shown. As with status-left, string will be passed to strftime(3)
and character pairs are replaced.
status-right-length length
Set the maximum length of the right component of the status line.
The default is 40.
status-right-style style
Set the style of the right part of the status line. For how to
specify style, see the STYLES section.
status-style style
Set status line style. For how to specify style, see the STYLES
update-environment[] variable
Set list of environment variables to be copied into the session
environment when a new session is created or an existing session
is attached. Any variables that do not exist in the source envi‐
ronment are set to be removed from the session environment (as if
-r was given to the set-environment command).
visual-activity [on | off | both]
If on, display a message instead of sending a bell when activity
occurs in a window for which the monitor-activity window option
is enabled. If set to both, a bell and a message are produced.
visual-bell [on | off | both]
If on, a message is shown on a bell in a window for which the
monitor-bell window option is enabled instead of it being passed
through to the terminal (which normally makes a sound). If set
to both, a bell and a message are produced. Also see the
bell-action option.
visual-silence [on | off | both]
If monitor-silence is enabled, prints a message after the inter‐
val has expired on a given window instead of sending a bell. If
set to both, a bell and a message are produced.
word-separators string
Sets the session's conception of what characters are considered
word separators, for the purposes of the next and previous word
commands in copy mode. The default is ‘ -_@’.
Available window options are:
aggressive-resize [on | off]
Aggressively resize the chosen window. This means that tmux will
resize the window to the size of the smallest or largest session
(see the window-size option) for which it is the current window,
rather than the session to which it is attached. The window may
resize when the current window is changed on another session;
this option is good for full-screen programs which support
SIGWINCH and poor for interactive programs such as shells.
automatic-rename [on | off]
Control automatic window renaming. When this setting is enabled,
tmux will rename the window automatically using the format speci‐
fied by automatic-rename-format. This flag is automatically dis‐
abled for an individual window when a name is specified at cre‐
ation with new-window or new-session, or later with
rename-window, or with a terminal escape sequence. It may be
switched off globally with:
set-option -wg automatic-rename off
automatic-rename-format format
The format (see FORMATS) used when the automatic-rename option is
clock-mode-colour colour
Set clock colour.
clock-mode-style [12 | 24]
Set clock hour format.
main-pane-height height
main-pane-width width
Set the width or height of the main (left or top) pane in the
main-horizontal or main-vertical layouts.
mode-keys [vi | emacs]
Use vi or emacs-style key bindings in copy mode. The default is
emacs, unless VISUAL or EDITOR contains ‘vi’.
mode-style style
Set window modes style. For how to specify style, see the STYLES
monitor-activity [on | off]
Monitor for activity in the window. Windows with activity are
highlighted in the status line.
monitor-bell [on | off]
Monitor for a bell in the window. Windows with a bell are high‐
lighted in the status line.
monitor-silence [interval]
Monitor for silence (no activity) in the window within interval
seconds. Windows that have been silent for the interval are
highlighted in the status line. An interval of zero disables the
other-pane-height height
Set the height of the other panes (not the main pane) in the
main-horizontal layout. If this option is set to 0 (the
default), it will have no effect. If both the main-pane-height
and other-pane-height options are set, the main pane will grow
taller to make the other panes the specified height, but will
never shrink to do so.
other-pane-width width
Like other-pane-height, but set the width of other panes in the
main-vertical layout.
pane-active-border-style style
Set the pane border style for the currently active pane. For how
to specify style, see the STYLES section. Attributes are
pane-base-index index
Like base-index, but set the starting index for pane numbers.
pane-border-format format
Set the text shown in pane border status lines.
pane-border-status [off | top | bottom]
Turn pane border status lines off or set their position.
pane-border-style style
Set the pane border style for panes aside from the active pane.
For how to specify style, see the STYLES section. Attributes are
synchronize-panes [on | off]
Duplicate input to any pane to all other panes in the same window
(only for panes that are not in any special mode).
window-status-activity-style style
Set status line style for windows with an activity alert. For
how to specify style, see the STYLES section.
window-status-bell-style style
Set status line style for windows with a bell alert. For how to
specify style, see the STYLES section.
window-status-current-format string
Like window-status-format, but is the format used when the window
is the current window.
window-status-current-style style
Set status line style for the currently active window. For how
to specify style, see the STYLES section.
window-status-format string
Set the format in which the window is displayed in the status
line window list. See the FORMATS and STYLES sections.
window-status-last-style style
Set status line style for the last active window. For how to
specify style, see the STYLES section.
window-status-separator string
Sets the separator drawn between windows in the status line. The
default is a single space character.
window-status-style style
Set status line style for a single window. For how to specify
style, see the STYLES section.
window-size largest | smallest | manual | latest
Configure how tmux determines the window size. If set to
largest, the size of the largest attached session is used; if
smallest, the size of the smallest. If manual, the size of a new
window is set from the default-size option and windows are
resized automatically. With latest, tmux uses the size of the
client that had the most recent activity. See also the
resize-window command and the aggressive-resize option.
wrap-search [on | off]
If this option is set, searches will wrap around the end of the
pane contents. The default is on.
xterm-keys [on | off]
If this option is set, tmux will generate xterm(1) -style func‐
tion key sequences; these have a number included to indicate mod‐
ifiers such as Shift, Alt or Ctrl.
Available pane options are:
allow-rename [on | off]
Allow programs in the pane to change the window name using a ter‐
minal escape sequence (\ek...\e\\).
alternate-screen [on | off]
This option configures whether programs running inside the pane
may use the terminal alternate screen feature, which allows the
smcup and rmcup terminfo(5) capabilities. The alternate screen
feature preserves the contents of the window when an interactive
application starts and restores it on exit, so that any output
visible before the application starts reappears unchanged after
it exits.
remain-on-exit [on | off]
A pane with this flag set is not destroyed when the program run‐
ning in it exits. The pane may be reactivated with the
respawn-pane command.
window-active-style style
Set the pane style when it is the active pane. For how to spec‐
ify style, see the STYLES section.
window-style style
Set the pane style. For how to specify style, see the STYLES
tmux allows commands to run on various triggers, called hooks. Most tmux
commands have an after hook and there are a number of hooks not associ‐
ated with commands.
Hooks are stored as array options, members of the array are executed in
order when the hook is triggered. Hooks may be configured with the
set-hook or set-option commands and displayed with show-hooks or
show-options -H. The following two commands are equivalent:
set-hook -g pane-mode-changed[42] 'set -g status-left-style bg=red'
set-option -g pane-mode-changed[42] 'set -g status-left-style bg=red'
Setting a hook without specifying an array index clears the hook and sets
the first member of the array.
A command's after hook is run after it completes, except when the command
is run as part of a hook itself. They are named with an ‘after-’ prefix.
For example, the following command adds a hook to select the even-verti‐
cal layout after every split-window:
set-hook -g after-split-window "selectl even-vertical"
All the notifications listed in the CONTROL MODE section are hooks (with‐
out any arguments), except %exit. The following additional hooks are
alert-activity Run when a window has activity. See
alert-bell Run when a window has received a bell. See
alert-silence Run when a window has been silent. See
client-attached Run when a client is attached.
client-detached Run when a client is detached
client-resized Run when a client is resized.
client-session-changed Run when a client's attached session is changed.
pane-died Run when the program running in a pane exits, but
remain-on-exit is on so the pane has not closed.
pane-exited Run when the program running in a pane exits.
pane-focus-in Run when the focus enters a pane, if the
focus-events option is on.
pane-focus-out Run when the focus exits a pane, if the
focus-events option is on.
pane-set-clipboard Run when the terminal clipboard is set using the
xterm(1) escape sequence.
session-created Run when a new session created.
session-closed Run when a session closed.
session-renamed Run when a session is renamed.
window-linked Run when a window is linked into a session.
window-renamed Run when a window is renamed.
window-unlinked Run when a window is unlinked from a session.
Hooks are managed with these commands:
set-hook [-agRu] [-t target-session] hook-name command
Without -R, sets (or with -u unsets) hook hook-name to command.
If -g is given, hook-name is added to the global list of hooks,
otherwise it is added to the session hooks (for target-session
with -t). -a appends to a hook. Like options, session hooks
inherit from the global ones.
With -R, run hook-name immediately.
show-hooks [-g] [-t target-session]
Shows the global list of hooks with -g, otherwise the session
If the mouse option is on (the default is off), tmux allows mouse events
to be bound as keys. The name of each key is made up of a mouse event
(such as ‘MouseUp1’) and a location suffix, one of the following:
Pane the contents of a pane
Border a pane border
Status the status line window list
StatusLeft the left part of the status line
StatusRight the right part of the status line
StatusDefault any other part of the status line
The following mouse events are available:
WheelUp WheelDown
MouseDown1 MouseUp1 MouseDrag1 MouseDragEnd1
MouseDown2 MouseUp2 MouseDrag2 MouseDragEnd2
MouseDown3 MouseUp3 MouseDrag3 MouseDragEnd3
DoubleClick1 DoubleClick2 DoubleClick3
TripleClick1 TripleClick2 TripleClick3
Each should be suffixed with a location, for example ‘MouseDown1Status’.
The special token ‘{mouse}’ or ‘=’ may be used as target-window or
target-pane in commands bound to mouse key bindings. It resolves to the
window or pane over which the mouse event took place (for example, the
window in the status line over which button 1 was released for a
‘MouseUp1Status’ binding, or the pane over which the wheel was scrolled
for a ‘WheelDownPane’ binding).
The send-keys -M flag may be used to forward a mouse event to a pane.
The default key bindings allow the mouse to be used to select and resize
panes, to copy text and to change window using the status line. These
take effect if the mouse option is turned on.
Certain commands accept the -F flag with a format argument. This is a
string which controls the output format of the command. Format variables
are enclosed in ‘#{’ and ‘}’, for example ‘#{session_name}’. The possi‐
ble variables are listed in the table below, or the name of a tmux option
may be used for an option's value. Some variables have a shorter alias
such as ‘#S’; ‘##’ is replaced by a single ‘#’, ‘#,’ by a ‘,’ and ‘#}’ by
a ‘}’.
Conditionals are available by prefixing with ‘?’ and separating two
alternatives with a comma; if the specified variable exists and is not
zero, the first alternative is chosen, otherwise the second is used. For
example ‘#{?session_attached,attached,not attached}’ will include the
string ‘attached’ if the session is attached and the string ‘not
attached’ if it is unattached, or ‘#{?automatic-rename,yes,no}’ will
include ‘yes’ if automatic-rename is enabled, or ‘no’ if not. Condition‐
als can be nested arbitrarily. Inside a conditional, ‘,’ and ‘}’ must be
escaped as ‘#,’ and ‘#}’, unless they are part of a ‘#{...}’ replacement.
For example:
#{?pane_in_mode,#[fg=white#,bg=red],#[fg=red#,bg=white]}#W .
String comparisons may be expressed by prefixing two comma-separated
alternatives by ‘==’, ‘!=’, ‘<’, ‘>’, ‘<=’ or ‘>=’ and a colon. For
example ‘#{==:#{host},myhost}’ will be replaced by ‘1’ if running on
‘myhost’, otherwise by ‘0’. ‘||’ and ‘&&’ evaluate to true if either or
both of two comma-separated alternatives are true, for example
An ‘m’ specifies an fnmatch(3) or regular expression comparison. The
first argument is the pattern and the second the string to compare. An
optional third argument specifies flags: ‘r’ means the pattern is a regu‐
lar expression instead of the default fnmatch(3) pattern, and ‘i’ means
to ignore case. For example: ‘#{m:*foo*,#{host}}’ or ‘#{m/ri:^A,MYVAR}’.
A ‘C’ performs a search for an fnmatch(3) pattern or regular expression
in the pane content and evaluates to zero if not found, or a line number
if found. Like ‘m’, an ‘r’ flag means search for a regular expression
and ‘i’ ignores case. For example: ‘#{C/r:^Start}’
A limit may be placed on the length of the resultant string by prefixing
it by an ‘=’, a number and a colon. Positive numbers count from the
start of the string and negative from the end, so ‘#{=5:pane_title}’ will
include at most the first five characters of the pane title, or
‘#{=-5:pane_title}’ the last five characters. A suffix or prefix may be
given as a second argument - if provided then it is appended or prepended
to the string if the length has been trimmed, for example
‘#{=/5/...:pane_title}’ will append ‘...’ if the pane title is more than
five characters. Similarly, ‘p’ pads the string to a given width, for
example ‘#{p10:pane_title}’ will result in a width of at least 10 charac‐
ters. A positive width pads on the left, a negative on the right.
Prefixing a time variable with ‘t:’ will convert it to a string, so if
‘#{window_activity}’ gives ‘1445765102’, ‘#{t:window_activity}’ gives
‘Sun Oct 25 09:25:02 2015’. The ‘b:’ and ‘d:’ prefixes are basename(3)
and dirname(3) of the variable respectively. ‘q:’ will escape sh(1) spe‐
cial characters. ‘E:’ will expand the format twice, for example
‘#{E:status-left}’ is the result of expanding the content of the
status-left option rather than the option itself. ‘T:’ is like ‘E:’ but
also expands strftime(3) specifiers. ‘S:’, ‘W:’ or ‘P:’ will loop over
each session, window or pane and insert the format once for each. For
windows and panes, two comma-separated formats may be given: the second
is used for the current window or active pane. For example, to get a
list of windows formatted like the status line:
#{W:#{E:window-status-format} ,#{E:window-status-current-format} }
A prefix of the form ‘s/foo/bar/:’ will substitute ‘foo’ with ‘bar’
throughout. The first argument may be an extended regular expression and
a final argument may be ‘i’ to ignore case, for example ‘s/a(.)/\1x/i:’
would change ‘abABab’ into ‘bxBxbx’.
In addition, the last line of a shell command's output may be inserted
using ‘#()’. For example, ‘#(uptime)’ will insert the system's uptime.
When constructing formats, tmux does not wait for ‘#()’ commands to fin‐
ish; instead, the previous result from running the same command is used,
or a placeholder if the command has not been run before. If the command
hasn't exited, the most recent line of output will be used, but the sta‐
tus line will not be updated more than once a second. Commands are exe‐
cuted with the tmux global environment set (see the GLOBAL AND SESSION
An ‘l’ specifies that a string should be interpreted literally and not
expanded. For example ‘#{l:#{?pane_in_mode,yes,no}}’ will be replaced by
The following variables are available, where appropriate:
Variable name Alias Replaced with
alternate_on 1 if pane is in alternate screen
alternate_saved_x Saved cursor X in alternate screen
alternate_saved_y Saved cursor Y in alternate screen
buffer_created Time buffer created
buffer_name Name of buffer
buffer_sample Sample of start of buffer
buffer_size Size of the specified buffer in bytes
client_activity Time client last had activity
client_cell_height Height of each client cell in pixels
client_cell_width Width of each client cell in pixels
client_control_mode 1 if client is in control mode
client_created Time client created
client_discarded Bytes discarded when client behind
client_height Height of client
client_key_table Current key table
client_last_session Name of the client's last session
client_name Name of client
client_pid PID of client process
client_prefix 1 if prefix key has been pressed
client_readonly 1 if client is readonly
client_session Name of the client's session
client_termname Terminal name of client
client_termtype Terminal type of client
client_tty Pseudo terminal of client
client_utf8 1 if client supports UTF-8
client_width Width of client
client_written Bytes written to client
command Name of command in use, if any
command_list_alias Command alias if listing commands
command_list_name Command name if listing commands
command_list_usage Command usage if listing commands
copy_cursor_line Line the cursor is on in copy mode
copy_cursor_word Word under cursor in copy mode
copy_cursor_x Cursor X position in copy mode
copy_cursor_y Cursor Y position in copy mode
cursor_character Character at cursor in pane
cursor_flag Pane cursor flag
cursor_x Cursor X position in pane
cursor_y Cursor Y position in pane
history_bytes Number of bytes in window history
history_limit Maximum window history lines
history_size Size of history in lines
hook Name of running hook, if any
hook_pane ID of pane where hook was run, if any
hook_session ID of session where hook was run, if any
hook_session_name Name of session where hook was run, if
hook_window ID of window where hook was run, if any
hook_window_name Name of window where hook was run, if any
host #H Hostname of local host
host_short #h Hostname of local host (no domain name)
insert_flag Pane insert flag
keypad_cursor_flag Pane keypad cursor flag
keypad_flag Pane keypad flag
line Line number in the list
mouse_all_flag Pane mouse all flag
mouse_any_flag Pane mouse any flag
mouse_button_flag Pane mouse button flag
mouse_line Line under mouse, if any
mouse_sgr_flag Pane mouse SGR flag
mouse_standard_flag Pane mouse standard flag
mouse_utf8_flag Pane mouse UTF-8 flag
mouse_word Word under mouse, if any
mouse_x Mouse X position, if any
mouse_y Mouse Y position, if any
origin_flag Pane origin flag
pane_active 1 if active pane
pane_at_bottom 1 if pane is at the bottom of window
pane_at_left 1 if pane is at the left of window
pane_at_right 1 if pane is at the right of window
pane_at_top 1 if pane is at the top of window
pane_bottom Bottom of pane
pane_current_command Current command if available
pane_current_path Current path if available
pane_dead 1 if pane is dead
pane_dead_status Exit status of process in dead pane
pane_format 1 if format is for a pane
pane_height Height of pane
pane_id #D Unique pane ID
pane_in_mode 1 if pane is in a mode
pane_index #P Index of pane
pane_input_off 1 if input to pane is disabled
pane_left Left of pane
pane_marked 1 if this is the marked pane
pane_marked_set 1 if a marked pane is set
pane_mode Name of pane mode, if any
pane_path #T Path of pane (can be set by application)
pane_pid PID of first process in pane
pane_pipe 1 if pane is being piped
pane_right Right of pane
pane_search_string Last search string in copy mode
pane_start_command Command pane started with
pane_synchronized 1 if pane is synchronized
pane_tabs Pane tab positions
pane_title #T Title of pane (can be set by application)
pane_top Top of pane
pane_tty Pseudo terminal of pane
pane_width Width of pane
pid Server PID
rectangle_toggle 1 if rectangle selection is activated
scroll_position Scroll position in copy mode
scroll_region_lower Bottom of scroll region in pane
scroll_region_upper Top of scroll region in pane
selection_end_x X position of the end of the selection
selection_end_y Y position of the end of the selection
selection_present 1 if selection started in copy mode
selection_start_x X position of the start of the selection
selection_start_y Y position of the start of the selection
session_activity Time of session last activity
session_alerts List of window indexes with alerts
session_attached Number of clients session is attached to
session_created Time session created
session_format 1 if format is for a session
session_group Name of session group
session_group_list List of sessions in group
session_group_size Size of session group
session_grouped 1 if session in a group
session_id Unique session ID
session_last_attached Time session last attached
session_many_attached 1 if multiple clients attached
session_name #S Name of session
session_stack Window indexes in most recent order
session_windows Number of windows in session
socket_path Server socket path
start_time Server start time
version Server version
window_active 1 if window active
window_activity Time of window last activity
window_activity_flag 1 if window has activity
window_bell_flag 1 if window has bell
window_bigger 1 if window is larger than client
window_cell_height Height of each cell in pixels
window_cell_width Width of each cell in pixels
window_end_flag 1 if window has the highest index
window_flags #F Window flags
window_format 1 if format is for a window
window_height Height of window
window_id Unique window ID
window_index #I Index of window
window_last_flag 1 if window is the last used
window_layout Window layout description, ignoring
zoomed window panes
window_linked 1 if window is linked across sessions
window_marked_flag 1 if window contains the marked pane
window_name #W Name of window
window_offset_x X offset into window if larger than
window_offset_y Y offset into window if larger than
window_panes Number of panes in window
window_silence_flag 1 if window has silence alert
window_stack_index Index in session most recent stack
window_start_flag 1 if window has the lowest index
window_visible_layout Window layout description, respecting
zoomed window panes
window_width Width of window
window_zoomed_flag 1 if window is zoomed
wrap_flag Pane wrap flag
tmux offers various options to specify the colour and attributes of
aspects of the interface, for example status-style for the status line.
In addition, embedded styles may be specified in format options, such as
status-left-format, by enclosing them in ‘#[’ and ‘]’.
A style may be the single term ‘default’ to specify the default style
(which may come from an option, for example status-style in the status
line) or a space or comma separated list of the following:
Set the foreground colour. The colour is one of: black, red,
green, yellow, blue, magenta, cyan, white; if supported the
bright variants brightred, brightgreen, brightyellow; colour0 to
colour255 from the 256-colour set; default for the default
colour; terminal for the terminal default colour; or a hexadeci‐
mal RGB string such as ‘#ffffff’.
Set the background colour.
none Set no attributes (turn off any active attributes).
bright (or bold), dim, underscore, blink, reverse, hidden, italics,
overline, strikethrough, double-underscore, curly-underscore,
dotted-underscore, dashed-underscore
Set an attribute. Any of the attributes may be prefixed with
‘no’ to unset.
align=left (or noalign), align=centre, align=right
Align text to the left, centre or right of the available space if
Fill the available space with a background colour if appropriate.
list=on, list=focus, list=left-marker, list=right-marker, nolist
Mark the position of the various window list components in the
status-format option: list=on marks the start of the list;
list=focus is the part of the list that should be kept in focus
if the entire list won't fit in the available space (typically
the current window); list=left-marker and list=right-marker mark
the text to be used to mark that text has been trimmed from the
left or right of the list if there is not enough space.
push-default, pop-default
Store the current colours and attributes as the default or reset
to the previous default. A push-default affects any subsequent
use of the default term until a pop-default. Only one default
may be pushed (each push-default replaces the previous saved
range=left, range=right, range=window|X, norange
Mark a range in the status-format option. range=left and
range=right are the text used for the ‘StatusLeft’ and
‘StatusRight’ mouse keys. range=window|X is the range for a win‐
dow passed to the ‘Status’ mouse key, where ‘X’ is a window
Examples are:
fg=yellow bold underscore blink
tmux distinguishes between names and titles. Windows and sessions have
names, which may be used to specify them in targets and are displayed in
the status line and various lists: the name is the tmux identifier for a
window or session. Only panes have titles. A pane's title is typically
set by the program running inside the pane using an escape sequence (like
it would set the xterm(1) window title in X(7)). Windows themselves do
not have titles - a window's title is the title of its active pane. tmux
itself may set the title of the terminal in which the client is running,
see the set-titles option.
A session's name is set with the new-session and rename-session commands.
A window's name is set with one of:
1. A command argument (such as -n for new-window or new-session).
2. An escape sequence (if the allow-rename option is turned on):
$ printf '\033kWINDOW_NAME\033\\'
3. Automatic renaming, which sets the name to the active command in
the window's active pane. See the automatic-rename option.
When a pane is first created, its title is the hostname. A pane's title
can be set via the title setting escape sequence, for example:
$ printf '\033]2;My Title\033\\'
It can also be modified with the select-pane -T command.
When the server is started, tmux copies the environment into the global
environment; in addition, each session has a session environment. When a
window is created, the session and global environments are merged. If a
variable exists in both, the value from the session environment is used.
The result is the initial environment passed to the new process.
The update-environment session option may be used to update the session
environment from the client when a new session is created or an old reat‐
tached. tmux also initialises the TMUX variable with some internal
information to allow commands to be executed from inside, and the TERM
variable with the correct terminal setting of ‘screen’.
Commands to alter and view the environment are:
set-environment [-gru] [-t target-session] name [value]
(alias: setenv)
Set or unset an environment variable. If -g is used, the change
is made in the global environment; otherwise, it is applied to
the session environment for target-session. The -u flag unsets a
variable. -r indicates the variable is to be removed from the
environment before starting a new process.
show-environment [-gs] [-t target-session] [variable]
(alias: showenv)
Display the environment for target-session or the global environ‐
ment with -g. If variable is omitted, all variables are shown.
Variables removed from the environment are prefixed with ‘-’. If
-s is used, the output is formatted as a set of Bourne shell com‐
tmux includes an optional status line which is displayed in the bottom
line of each terminal.
By default, the status line is enabled and one line in height (it may be
disabled or made multiple lines with the status session option) and con‐
tains, from left-to-right: the name of the current session in square
brackets; the window list; the title of the active pane in double quotes;
and the time and date.
Each line of the status line is configured with the status-format option.
The default is made of three parts: configurable left and right sections
(which may contain dynamic content such as the time or output from a
shell command, see the status-left, status-left-length, status-right, and
status-right-length options below), and a central window list. By
default, the window list shows the index, name and (if any) flag of the
windows present in the current session in ascending numerical order. It
may be customised with the window-status-format and
window-status-current-format options. The flag is one of the following
symbols appended to the window name:
Symbol Meaning
* Denotes the current window.
- Marks the last window (previously selected).
# Window activity is monitored and activity has been
! Window bells are monitored and a bell has occurred in the
~ The window has been silent for the monitor-silence
M The window contains the marked pane.
Z The window's active pane is zoomed.
The # symbol relates to the monitor-activity window option. The window
name is printed in inverted colours if an alert (bell, activity or
silence) is present.
The colour and attributes of the status line may be configured, the
entire status line using the status-style session option and individual
windows using the window-status-style window option.
The status line is automatically refreshed at interval if it has changed,
the interval may be controlled with the status-interval session option.
Commands related to the status line are as follows:
command-prompt [-1Ni] [-I inputs] [-p prompts] [-t target-client]
Open the command prompt in a client. This may be used from
inside tmux to execute commands interactively.
If template is specified, it is used as the command. If present,
-I is a comma-separated list of the initial text for each prompt.
If -p is given, prompts is a comma-separated list of prompts
which are displayed in order; otherwise a single prompt is dis‐
played, constructed from template if it is present, or ‘:’ if
Before the command is executed, the first occurrence of the
string ‘%%’ and all occurrences of ‘%1’ are replaced by the
response to the first prompt, all ‘%2’ are replaced with the
response to the second prompt, and so on for further prompts. Up
to nine prompt responses may be replaced (‘%1’ to ‘%9’). ‘%%%’
is like ‘%%’ but any quotation marks are escaped.
-1 makes the prompt only accept one key press, in this case the
resulting input is a single character. -N makes the prompt only
accept numeric key presses. -i executes the command every time
the prompt input changes instead of when the user exits the com‐
mand prompt.
The following keys have a special meaning in the command prompt,
depending on the value of the status-keys option:
Function vi emacs
Cancel command prompt Escape Escape
Delete from cursor to start of word C-w
Delete entire command d C-u
Delete from cursor to end D C-k
Execute command Enter Enter
Get next command from history Down
Get previous command from history Up
Insert top paste buffer p C-y
Look for completions Tab Tab
Move cursor left h Left
Move cursor right l Right
Move cursor to end $ C-e
Move cursor to next word w M-f
Move cursor to previous word b M-b
Move cursor to start 0 C-a
Transpose characters C-t
confirm-before [-p prompt] [-t target-client] command
(alias: confirm)
Ask for confirmation before executing command. If -p is given,
prompt is the prompt to display; otherwise a prompt is con‐
structed from command. It may contain the special character
sequences supported by the status-left option.
This command works only from inside tmux.
display-menu [-c target-client] [-t target-pane] [-T title] [-x position]
[-y position] name key command ...
(alias: menu)
Display a menu on target-client. target-pane gives the target
for any commands run from the menu.
A menu is passed as a series of arguments: first the menu item
name, second the key shortcut (or empty for none) and third the
command to run when the menu item is chosen. The name and com‐
mand are formats, see the FORMATS and STYLES sections. If the
name begins with a hyphen (-), then the item is disabled (shown
dim) and may not be chosen. The name may be empty for a separa‐
tor line, in which case both the key and command should be omit‐
-T is a format for the menu title (see FORMATS).
-x and -y give the position of the menu. Both may be a row or
column number, or one of the following special values:
Value Flag Meaning
R -x The right side of the terminal
P Both The bottom left of the pane
M Both The mouse position
W -x The window position on the status line
S -y The line above or below the status line
Each menu consists of items followed by a key shortcut shown in
brackets. If the menu is too large to fit on the terminal, it is
not displayed. Pressing the key shortcut chooses the correspond‐
ing item. If the mouse is enabled and the menu is opened from a
mouse key binding, releasing the mouse button with an item
selected will choose that item. The following keys are also
Key Function
Enter Choose selected item
Up Select previous item
Down Select next item
q Exit menu
display-message [-aIpv] [-c target-client] [-t target-pane] [message]
(alias: display)
Display a message. If -p is given, the output is printed to std‐
out, otherwise it is displayed in the target-client status line.
The format of message is described in the FORMATS section; infor‐
mation is taken from target-pane if -t is given, otherwise the
active pane.
-v prints verbose logging as the format is parsed and -a lists
the format variables and their values.
-I forwards any input read from stdin to the empty pane given by
tmux maintains a set of named paste buffers. Each buffer may be either
explicitly or automatically named. Explicitly named buffers are named
when created with the set-buffer or load-buffer commands, or by renaming
an automatically named buffer with set-buffer -n. Automatically named
buffers are given a name such as ‘buffer0001’, ‘buffer0002’ and so on.
When the buffer-limit option is reached, the oldest automatically named
buffer is deleted. Explicitly named buffers are not subject to
buffer-limit and may be deleted with delete-buffer command.
Buffers may be added using copy-mode or the set-buffer and load-buffer
commands, and pasted into a window using the paste-buffer command. If a
buffer command is used and no buffer is specified, the most recently
added automatically named buffer is assumed.
A configurable history buffer is also maintained for each window. By
default, up to 2000 lines are kept; this can be altered with the
history-limit option (see the set-option command above).
The buffer commands are as follows:
choose-buffer [-NZr] [-F format] [-f filter] [-O sort-order] [-t
target-pane] [template]
Put a pane into buffer mode, where a buffer may be chosen inter‐
actively from a list. -Z zooms the pane. The following keys may
be used in buffer mode:
Key Function
Enter Paste selected buffer
Up Select previous buffer
Down Select next buffer
C-s Search by name or content
n Repeat last search
t Toggle if buffer is tagged
T Tag no buffers
C-t Tag all buffers
p Paste selected buffer
P Paste tagged buffers
d Delete selected buffer
D Delete tagged buffers
f Enter a format to filter items
O Change sort field
r Reverse sort order
v Toggle preview
q Exit mode
After a buffer is chosen, ‘%%’ is replaced by the buffer name in
template and the result executed as a command. If template is
not given, "paste-buffer -b '%%'" is used.
-O specifies the initial sort field: one of ‘time’, ‘name’ or
‘size’. -r reverses the sort order. -f specifies an initial
filter: the filter is a format - if it evaluates to zero, the
item in the list is not shown, otherwise it is shown. If a fil‐
ter would lead to an empty list, it is ignored. -F specifies the
format for each item in the list. -N starts without the preview.
This command works only if at least one client is attached.
clear-history [-t target-pane]
(alias: clearhist)
Remove and free the history for the specified pane.
delete-buffer [-b buffer-name]
(alias: deleteb)
Delete the buffer named buffer-name, or the most recently added
automatically named buffer if not specified.
list-buffers [-F format]
(alias: lsb)
List the global buffers. For the meaning of the -F flag, see the
FORMATS section.
load-buffer [-b buffer-name] path
(alias: loadb)
Load the contents of the specified paste buffer from path.
paste-buffer [-dpr] [-b buffer-name] [-s separator] [-t target-pane]
(alias: pasteb)
Insert the contents of a paste buffer into the specified pane.
If not specified, paste into the current one. With -d, also
delete the paste buffer. When output, any linefeed (LF) charac‐
ters in the paste buffer are replaced with a separator, by
default carriage return (CR). A custom separator may be speci‐
fied using the -s flag. The -r flag means to do no replacement
(equivalent to a separator of LF). If -p is specified, paste
bracket control codes are inserted around the buffer if the
application has requested bracketed paste mode.
save-buffer [-a] [-b buffer-name] path
(alias: saveb)
Save the contents of the specified paste buffer to path. The -a
option appends to rather than overwriting the file.
set-buffer [-a] [-b buffer-name] [-n new-buffer-name] data
(alias: setb)
Set the contents of the specified buffer to data. The -a option
appends to rather than overwriting the buffer. The -n option
renames the buffer to new-buffer-name.
show-buffer [-b buffer-name]
(alias: showb)
Display the contents of the specified buffer.
Miscellaneous commands are as follows:
clock-mode [-t target-pane]
Display a large clock.
if-shell [-bF] [-t target-pane] shell-command command [command]
(alias: if)
Execute the first command if shell-command returns success or the
second command otherwise. Before being executed, shell-command
is expanded using the rules specified in the FORMATS section,
including those relevant to target-pane. With -b, shell-command
is run in the background.
If -F is given, shell-command is not executed but considered suc‐
cess if neither empty nor zero (after formats are expanded).
(alias: lock)
Lock each client individually by running the command specified by
the lock-command option.
run-shell [-b] [-t target-pane] shell-command
(alias: run)
Execute shell-command in the background without creating a win‐
dow. Before being executed, shell-command is expanded using the
rules specified in the FORMATS section. With -b, the command is
run in the background. After it finishes, any output to stdout
is displayed in copy mode (in the pane specified by -t or the
current pane if omitted). If the command doesn't return success,
the exit status is also displayed.
wait-for [-L | -S | -U] channel
(alias: wait)
When used without options, prevents the client from exiting until
woken using wait-for -S with the same channel. When -L is used,
the channel is locked and any clients that try to lock the same
channel are made to wait until the channel is unlocked with
wait-for -U.
tmux understands some unofficial extensions to terminfo(5):
Cs, Cr Set the cursor colour. The first takes a single string argument
and is used to set the colour; the second takes no arguments and
restores the default cursor colour. If set, a sequence such as
this may be used to change the cursor colour from inside tmux:
$ printf '\033]12;red\033\\'
Smol Enable the overline attribute. The capability is usually SGR 53
and can be added to terminal-overrides as:
Smulx Set a styled underscore. The single parameter is one of: 0 for
no underscore, 1 for normal underscore, 2 for double underscore,
3 for curly underscore, 4 for dotted underscore and 5 for dashed
underscore. The capability can typically be added to
terminal-overrides as:
Setulc Set the underscore colour. The argument is (red * 65536) +
(green * 256) + blue where each is between 0 and 255. The capa‐
bility can typically be added to terminal-overrides as:
Ss, Se Set or reset the cursor style. If set, a sequence such as this
may be used to change the cursor to an underline:
$ printf '\033[4 q'
If Se is not set, Ss with argument 0 will be used to reset the
cursor style instead.
Tc Indicate that the terminal supports the ‘direct colour’ RGB
escape sequence (for example, \e[38;2;255;255;255m).
If supported, this is used for the initialize colour escape
sequence (which may be enabled by adding the ‘initc’ and ‘ccc’
capabilities to the tmux terminfo(5) entry).
Ms Store the current buffer in the host terminal's selection (clip‐
board). See the set-clipboard option above and the xterm(1) man
tmux offers a textual interface called control mode. This allows appli‐
cations to communicate with tmux using a simple text-only protocol.
In control mode, a client sends tmux commands or command sequences termi‐
nated by newlines on standard input. Each command will produce one block
of output on standard output. An output block consists of a %begin line
followed by the output (which may be empty). The output block ends with
a %end or %error. %begin and matching %end or %error have two arguments:
an integer time (as seconds from epoch) and command number. For example:
%begin 1363006971 2
0: ksh* (1 panes) [80x24] [layout b25f,80x24,0,0,2] @2 (active)
%end 1363006971 2
The refresh-client -C command may be used to set the size of a client in
control mode.
In control mode, tmux outputs notifications. A notification will never
occur inside an output block.
The following notifications are defined:
%client-session-changed client session-id name
The client is now attached to the session with ID session-id,
which is named name.
%exit [reason]
The tmux client is exiting immediately, either because it is not
attached to any session or an error occurred. If present, reason
describes why the client exited.
%layout-change window-id window-layout window-visible-layout window-flags
The layout of a window with ID window-id changed. The new layout
is window-layout. The window's visible layout is
window-visible-layout and the window flags are window-flags.
%output pane-id value
A window pane produced output. value escapes non-printable char‐
acters and backslash as octal \xxx.
%pane-mode-changed pane-id
The pane with ID pane-id has changed mode.
%session-changed session-id name
The client is now attached to the session with ID session-id,
which is named name.
%session-renamed name
The current session was renamed to name.
%session-window-changed session-id window-id
The session with ID session-id changed its active window to the
window with ID window-id.
A session was created or destroyed.
%unlinked-window-add window-id
The window with ID window-id was created but is not linked to the
current session.
%window-add window-id
The window with ID window-id was linked to the current session.
%window-close window-id
The window with ID window-id closed.
%window-pane-changed window-id pane-id
The active pane in the window with ID window-id changed to the
pane with ID pane-id.
%window-renamed window-id name
The window with ID window-id was renamed to name.
When tmux is started, it inspects the following environment variables:
EDITOR If the command specified in this variable contains the string
‘vi’ and VISUAL is unset, use vi-style key bindings. Overrid‐
den by the mode-keys and status-keys options.
HOME The user's login directory. If unset, the passwd(5) database
is consulted.
LC_CTYPE The character encoding locale(1). It is used for two separate
purposes. For output to the terminal, UTF-8 is used if the -u
option is given or if LC_CTYPE contains "UTF-8" or "UTF8".
Otherwise, only ASCII characters are written and non-ASCII
characters are replaced with underscores (‘_’). For input,
tmux always runs with a UTF-8 locale. If en_US.UTF-8 is pro‐
vided by the operating system it is used and LC_CTYPE is
ignored for input. Otherwise, LC_CTYPE tells tmux what the
UTF-8 locale is called on the current system. If the locale
specified by LC_CTYPE is not available or is not a UTF-8
locale, tmux exits with an error message.
LC_TIME The date and time format locale(1). It is used for locale-
dependent strftime(3) format specifiers.
PWD The current working directory to be set in the global environ‐
ment. This may be useful if it contains symbolic links. If
the value of the variable does not match the current working
directory, the variable is ignored and the result of getcwd(3)
is used instead.
SHELL The absolute path to the default shell for new windows. See
the default-shell option for details.
The parent directory of the directory containing the server
sockets. See the -L option for details.
VISUAL If the command specified in this variable contains the string
‘vi’, use vi-style key bindings. Overridden by the mode-keys
and status-keys options.
~/.tmux.conf Default tmux configuration file.
@SYSCONFDIR@/tmux.conf System-wide configuration file.
To create a new tmux session running vi(1):
$ tmux new-session vi
Most commands have a shorter form, known as an alias. For new-session,
this is new:
$ tmux new vi
Alternatively, the shortest unambiguous form of a command is accepted.
If there are several options, they are listed:
$ tmux n
ambiguous command: n, could be: new-session, new-window, next-window
Within an active session, a new window may be created by typing ‘C-b c’
(Ctrl followed by the ‘b’ key followed by the ‘c’ key).
Windows may be navigated with: ‘C-b 0’ (to select window 0), ‘C-b 1’ (to
select window 1), and so on; ‘C-b n’ to select the next window; and ‘C-b
p’ to select the previous window.
A session may be detached using ‘C-b d’ (or by an external event such as
ssh(1) disconnection) and reattached with:
$ tmux attach-session
Typing ‘C-b ?’ lists the current key bindings in the current window; up
and down may be used to navigate the list or ‘q’ to exit from it.
Commands to be run when the tmux server is started may be placed in the
~/.tmux.conf configuration file. Common examples include:
Changing the default prefix key:
set-option -g prefix C-a
unbind-key C-b
bind-key C-a send-prefix
Turning the status line off, or changing its colour:
set-option -g status off
set-option -g status-style bg=blue
Setting other options, such as the default command, or locking after 30
minutes of inactivity:
set-option -g default-command "exec /bin/ksh"
set-option -g lock-after-time 1800
Creating new key bindings:
bind-key b set-option status
bind-key / command-prompt "split-window 'exec man %%'"
bind-key S command-prompt "new-window -n %1 'ssh %1'"
Nicholas Marriott <>
BSD November 29, 2019 BSD
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