A Terminal multiplexer, it allows multiple terminal sessions to be accessed from a single window. It is useful to detach processes from their terminals and run more than 1 command line program at the same time.

Remember C-b means ctrl + b.

Session Management#

Create a new session

tmux new -s my_session

List sessions

tmux list-sessions

choose sessions from a list

C-b s

Attach to a session

tmux attach -t my_session

Switch to an existing session

tmux switch -t my_session

Detach session

tmux detach

C-b d

Choose from available sessions

C-b s

Close all tmux sessions

tmux kill-server


Tmux has tabs, but it calls them windows. It is a wise thing to name your sessions and windows about things you are working on.

Create a new window

tmux new-window

C-b c

Choose a window from a list

C-b w

List windows

tmux list-windows

Select a window

tmux select-window -t :0-9

C-b 1..

Rename a window

tmux rename-window -t old_window test-window


Split the window into 2 vertical panes

tmux split-window

C-b "

Split a window into 2 horizontal panes

tmux split-window -h

C-b %

Swap a pane with another in a specified direction

tmux swap-pane -[UDLR]

C-b { (left)
C-b } (right)

UDLR means Up, Down, Left, Right

Change focus to another pane

tmux select-pane -R [UDLR]

C-a (arrow keys)

Change focus to another pane by number

tmux select-pane -t :.1


List commands

tmux list-commands

List out every session, window, pane, its pid

tmux info

Reload the current tmux configuration

tmux source-file ~/.tmux.conf

Lets put it into practice#

We will log into our server, split the panes. One pane will view /var/log/syslog the other will write a message to it.

  1. SSH to your server

    ssh backup

  2. Enter tmux


  3. Split the pane horizontally

    C-b % (means ctrl + b, then press %)

  4. Tail the logs

    tail -f /var/log/syslog

  5. Move to the other pane

    C-b left (means ctrl + b, then press left arrow)

  6. Log a message

    logger hello world

You should see the message pop up on the other pane

A note on Restarts#

The tmux server persists on the server, so when you ssh in again the session will be available. These sessions do not persist over system restarts.