Tom Ordonez

Data Science, Analytics, Growing Teams

How To Install Tmux on Linux


Follow this tutorial to install Tmux on Linux.

$ sudo apt-get install tmux

Or for Fedora use dnf.

Now type tmux and it should open the Tmux interface.

If instead you get this [exited]

Open your tmux configuration (see below about Configuring Tmux):

$ vim ~/.tmux.conf

If you have this line. Then either remove it or add it as a comment for future reference.

It was:

set-option -g default-command "reattach-to-user-namespace -l $SHELL"

Now it is:

# set-option -g default-command "reattach-to-user-namespace -l $SHELL"

To learn more about Tmux. You should get a book called "Tmux Productive Mouse Free Development".

Configuring Tmux

How To Install Tmux on Linux

Tmux has the config file .tmux.conf. If after installing is not in your home directory. Then create this file.

The following configuration is from the Tmux book mentioned above:

set -g default-terminal "xterm"

set -g prefix C-a

unbind C-b

set -s escape-time 1

set -g base-index 1

setw -g pane-base-index 1

bind r source-file ~/.tmux.conf \; display "Reloaded!"

bind C-a send-prefix

bind | split-window -h

bind - split-window -v

bind h select-pane -L

bind j select-pane -D

bind k select-pane -U

bind l select-pane -R

bind -r C-h select-window -t :-

bind -r C-l select-window -t :+

bind -r H resize-pane -L 5

bind -r J resize-pane -D 5

bind -r K resize-pane -U 5

bind -r L resize-pane -R 6

set -g default-terminal "screen-256color"

# set -g status-fg white

# set -g status-bg black

# setw -g window-status-fg cyan

# setw -g window-status-bg default

# setw -g window-status-attr dim

# setw -g window-status-current-fg white

# setw -g window-status-current-bg red

# setw -g window-status-current-attr bright

# default statusbar colors

set-option -g status-bg colour235 #base02

set-option -g status-fg colour136 #yellow

set-option -g status-attr default

# default window title colors

set-window-option -g window-status-fg colour244 #base0

set-window-option -g window-status-bg default

#set-window-option -g window-status-attr dim

# active window title colors

set-window-option -g window-status-current-fg colour166 #orange

set-window-option -g window-status-current-bg default

#set-window-option -g window-status-current-attr bright

# pane border

set-option -g pane-border-fg colour235 #base02

set-option -g pane-active-border-fg colour240 #base01

# message text

set-option -g message-bg colour235 #base02

set-option -g message-fg colour166 #orange

# pane number display

set-option -g display-panes-active-colour colour33 #blue

set-option -g display-panes-colour colour166 #orange

# clock

set-window-option -g clock-mode-colour colour64 #green

set -g status-left-length 40

set -g status-left "#[fg=green]SomeNameHere: #S #[fg=yellow]#I #[fg=cyan]#P"

set -g status-right "#[fg=cyan]%d %b %R"

set -g status-justify centre

set -g monitor-activity on

set -g visual-activity on

setw -g mode-keys vi

# set-option -g default-command "reattach-to-user-namespace -l $SHELL"

Remap the Caps Lock with Ctrl

Since Tmux uses shortcuts to navigate different panes and windows. You need to remap your Caps Lock key so that it behaves as a Ctrl key...you don't have to but it's easier to attach and detach tmux sessions using Caps Lock + a. Than doing Ctrl + a.

$ setxkbmap -option caps:ctrl_modifier

To change back to the original settings:

$ setxkbmap -option

A stuck Caps Lock might happen when you remap the caps lock when it was enabled. To solve this, change back to the original settings and remap when the caps lock is not enabled.

Install Tmuxinator to manage Tmux sessions

This requires that you have Ruby installed. Follow this to install Ruby on Ubuntu. For Fedora, the tutorial is almost the same.

$ gem install tmuxinator

Open a configuration file for a Tmuxinator session

$ tmuxinator open awesome-project

Edit the settings as you want or go here to learn more about configuring Tmuxinator.

Open a tmuxinator session like this:

$ tmuxinator awesome-project

To dettach from the session use the remapped key shortcut CapsLock+a then d.

To get a list of all tmuxinator sessions do:

$ tmuxinator list

Get the book "Tmux Productive Mouse Free Development" to understand in more detail how Tmux works.

Questions about Tmux on Linux? Please comment below