Skip to content

Tmux Reference

tmux provides two main functions: window management in the terminal and session management. Around the two functions, there are a few core concepts you need to understand:

  • A session contains a group of windows
    • A window contains one or more panels
      • A panel contains a terminal where you can run programs inside

You can detatch from a session and re-attach to the same session again later so that you can resume your previous work. You can find the session/window/panel information from the status line, as shown in the following diagram[1].

tmux status line

Most tmux commands are carried out with the prefix key "C-b", which means you keep "Ctrl" and "B" key pressed together. Shortly after releasing the two keys, press another key for a specific command. For example, with "C-b" + "%", you can split a panel into a left and right panels.

Setup tmux

  • Install tmux
$ sudo apt install tmux
  • Enable mouse support
$ tmux set-option mouse on

Session Management

  • Create a new named session
$ tmux new [-t] -s mysession

With the "-t" argument the new session is detached automatically after creation.

  • Detach from the current session: C-b d

  • List existing sessions

$ tmux ls
  • Attach to a session
# attach to session with id
$ tmux attach -t 0
# attach to a named session
$ tmux attach -t mysession
  • Rename an existing session
$ tmux rename-session -t 0 mysession2

Window Management

  • Create a new window: C-b c
  • Rename the current window: C-b ,
  • Change to window 0: C-b 0
  • Change to next window: C-b n
  • Change to previous window: C-b p
  • Change to the last window: C-b l

  • Create a new named window

$ tmux new-window [-d] -n mynewwindow

If the argument "-d" is specified, tmux will only create the new window but does not make the new window to be the current window.

Panel Management

  • Splits the current panel into two horizontally: C-b %
  • Splits the current panel into two vertically: C-b "
  • Switch between the panels: C-b <arrow-key>
  • Resize panel in direction of arrow key: C-b C-<arrow-key>
  • Toggle full-screen mode of the current panel: C-b z

Session and Window in Tree View

  • Show sessions: C-b s
  • Show windows of current session: C-b w
  • Exit tree view mode: q


  • [1]
  • [2]
  • [3]