How to Use Tmux in Linux 2024

How to Use Tmux

Learn how to install and basic usage of Tmux on your Linux system in this step-by-step tutorial.

What is tmux?

Tmux is a highly efficient terminal multiplexer, offering an alternative to GNU Screen. With Tmux, you can create multiple windows within a single session and effortlessly switch between different programs. It allows you to create multiple windows within a session, each of which can be split into rectangular panes.

With Tmux, you can effortlessly switch between multiple programs in one terminal, detach, and reattach them to different terminals. One of the most significant advantages of Tmux is that its sessions are persistent, ensuring that programs running within Tmux will continue to run even if you get disconnected.

All Tmux commands start with a prefix, which is ctrl+b by default.

How to Install Tmux on Linux

You can use the package manager of your distro to install tmux on Linux easily. Here you can follow the commands to install tmux on a different operating system.

How to Install Tmux on Ubuntu and Debian

On both Ubuntu and Debian, you can install tmux by running the following command:

sudo apt install tmux

How to Install Tmux on CentOS and Fedora

Run the following command to install tmux on CentOS and Fedora:

sudo yum install tmux

How to Install Tmux on macOS

Tmux can be also installed and used on macOS just Linux. Use the following command to install tmux on macOS:

brew install tmux

How to Start Tmux Session

By simply typing tmux in your console and hit enter. This will initiate a screen session, which will generate a fresh window and launch a shell within that window.


Upon entering Tmux, a status line will appear at the base of your display screen, providing you with details about your current session. Now you’re ready to run your first Tmux command, To access the list of all commands type: Ctrl+b ?

How to Create Named Tmux Sessions

Tmux sessions are usually numbered by default, but creating named sessions can be advantageous when you manage multiple tmux sessions simultaneously. To make a new named session, use the tmux command and specify the following arguments:

tmux new -s session_name

When choosing a session name, it’s recommended to select a descriptive one that accurately reflects its purpose. Improve your productivity with Tmux by creating organized named sessions.

How to Detach from Tmux Session

To detach from the scene session simply type Ctrl+b d and the program running in the screen session will continue to run after you detach from the session.

How to Reattach to a Tmux Session

If you want to re-attach to a Tmux session, you’ll need to know the name of the session first. To see a list of currently running sessions, use the command:

tmux ls

The first column of the output will show you the name of the session.


0: 1 windows (created Sat Sep 15 09:38:43 2018) [158x35]
my_named_session: 1 windows (created Sat Sep 15 10:13:11 2018) [78x35]

From the output, there are two sessions running, the first one is named 0 and the second one is named my_named_session.

To attach to session 0, enter the command:

tmux attach-session -t 0

How to Work with Tmux Windows and Panes

when you initiate a tmuix session, it will create a single window containing a shell by default. To add a new window with a shell, simply use the command Ctrl+b c . Tmux will automatically assign the first available number from the range 0…9 to the new window.

Here are some popular commands for managing Tmux windows and panes:

  • Ctrl+b c Create a new window with a shell
  • Ctrl+b w Choose a window from a list
  • Ctrl+b 0 Switch to window 0 by number
  • Ctrl+b , Rename the current window
  • Ctrl+b % Split the current pane horizontally into two panes
  • Ctrl+b " Split the current pane vertically into two panes
  • Ctrl+b o Go to the next pane
  • Ctrl+b ; Toggle between the current and previous pane
  • Ctrl+b x Close the current pane

How to customize Tmux

Tmux reads its configuration parameters from the ~/.tmux.conf file if available when it is initiated.

Check out this sample ~/.tmux.conf configuration with a customized status line and additional options to customize your Tmux experience:


# Improve colors
set -g default-terminal 'screen-256color'

# Set scrollback buffer to 10000
set -g history-limit 10000

# Customize the status line
set -g status-fg  green
set -g status-bg  black


Basics of Tmux

To begin using the tmux, follow these fundamental steps:

  1. Open the command prompt and enter tmux new -s my_session
  2. Launch your desired program.
  3. To detach from the session, use the key combination Ctrl-b + d
  4. To rejoin the Tmux session, enter tmux attach-session -t my_session

By following these steps, you can easily start using Tmux and managing your terminal sessions with efficiency.


In this Tmux tutorial, you learned about how to efficiently manage your terminal sessions. By following these easy steps, you will be able to create multiple Tmux windows within a single session, divide them into new panes, and navigate seamlessly between them. Additionally, you’ll learn how to detach and resume sessions and customize your Tmux instance by editing the .tmux.conf file.

If you need further information on Tmux, type man tmux in your terminal or check out the Tmux User’s Manual page.

Don’t hesitate to leave a comment if you have any questions or feedback.



Hi, this is James, a tech specialist and a core member of the TrioTeam. I like to research and write content about various interesting things especially tech-related stuff, and also have an interest in philosophical discussion. I have been writing solutions for technical problems, how-to tutorials, technology reviews, tools and websites, and so on for TrioGuide.

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