tmux: A Screen Multiplexer

I’ve used GNU screen since 1994 to keep multiple terminals open and active on remote servers.

Whew. That’s a lot of my life to be mucking about terminal windows. The longevity of that run should say good things about the people behind screen.

[caption id=“attachment_2218” align=“aligncenter” width=“300” caption=“Split pane: rake on bottom, vim on top, vim using NERDTree navigator”]Screenshot of a tmux session[/caption]

But about 6 months ago at RubyConf i was convinced to try out tmux (terminal multiplexer). It’s a more flexible, more scriptable cousin of screen. You have the ability to divide space into multiple tiled panes so that you can have a code and result window on the same screen, you can attach multiple clients without the fragility screen has in this area, etc. I recommend you check it out.

I’m also going to add some of the tips I rediscover on this post below.


  1. If you have multiple terminals attached to the same session, the smaller sized client can “lock” the dimensions of the session. You need to detach those other terminal. Use prefix+D to get a menu of the attached terminals and hit enter to disconnect them. When only the current terminal is left, the size will adjust to fill your space. The area that’s available in the larger, but unavailable in the smaller is marked as a pane full of ‘……..’ characters.