Tmux commands I always forget

Published on November 7th, 2019

tmux icon

Tmux is terminal multiplexer. What is that? Running multiple terminals at once. Can’t get much simpler than that.

But why am I reading this, my terminal already has this feature? To some extent yes, but Tmux has much more functionality than your average terminal. This article will provide cheatsheet for commands you’ll use day-to-day in tmux.

Sessions

Tmux sessions work like Virtual Machines. You can turn them on (attach to them) and turn them off (detach from them) and they’ll save working state.

Open new session

tmux

Open new session with name

tmux new -s sessionName

Delete session

tmux kill-session -t sessionName

Delete all sessions

tmux kill-session -a

Rename current session

Ctrl + b and then $

List all sessions

tmux ls

Attach to last session

tmux attach

Attach to session with name

tmux attach -t sessionName

Windows

Don’t worry, we aren’t talking about Microsoft Windows. If you’ve never worked with tmux windows before, they are nothing fancy, think about them like tabs in classical terminal.

Create new window

Ctrl + b and then c

Close current window

Ctrl + b and then &

Switch to next window

Ctrl + b and then n

Switch to previous window

Ctrl + b and then p

Switch to window with number

Ctrl + b and then number of window

Rename current window

Ctrl + b and then ,

Panes

Like splits in Vim, tmux panes enable you to use two programs side by side.

Split vertically

Ctrl + b and then %

Split horizontally

Ctrl + b and then "

Switch to pane

Ctrl + b and then arrow key in direction of pane.

Resize current pane

Ctrl + b and then hold arrow key in direction you want to resize.

Close current pane

Ctrl + b and then x

Transform pane to window

Ctrl + b and then !

Copy mode

While starting out with tmux, you’ve probably noticed that you can’t scroll up. Well, you actually can. But it’s bit more complicated than that. You have to switch to so-called Copy mode. Copy mode uses key bindings that will be very familiar to Vim users.

Switch to copy mode

Ctrl + b and then [

Quit copy mode

q

Moving around

  • h - move left
  • j - move down
  • k - move up
  • l - move right
  • g - go to top
  • G - go to bottom
  • w - move one word forward
  • b - move one word backward

Select

  • space - start selection
  • enter - copy selection
  • esc - discard selection
  • V - select whole line

/ followed by your search query and then enter

  • n - show next result
  • N - show previous result

And that is it. These are all tmux commands I use (and always forget).