5 Useful Tips for Better Tmux Terminal Sessions

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tmux is a terminal multiplexer similar to GNU screen, which is used to create, access, and control multiple terminal sessions from a single console. It is useful for system administrators for running more than one command-line program at the same time.

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One useful feature of tmux is that it can be detached from a screen and continue running in the background, then later reattached. In this regard, it allows SSH sessions to remain active even after disconnecting from the console.

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Read Also: 10 Cool Command Line Tools for your Linux Terminal

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In tmux, a session is a container for individual consoles being managed by tmux. Each session has one or more windows linked to it. And a window fills the entire screen and you may split it into several rectangular panes (either vertically or horizontally), each of which is a separate pseudo terminal.

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In this article, we will explain some useful tips for better tmux sessions in Linux.

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Configure Terminal to start tmux by default

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To configure your terminal to automatically start tmux as default, add the following lines to your ~/.bash_profile shell startup file, just above your aliases section.

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if command -v tmux &> /dev/null && [ -z "$TMUX" ]; thenrn    tmux attach -t default || tmux new -s defaultrnfirn

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Save the file and close it.

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Then close and reopen the terminal to start using tmux by default, every time you open a terminal window.

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Give Terminal Session Names

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tmux gives a default name for sessions, however, sometimes, this name isn’t descriptive enough. You can give a session a name of your choice.

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For example if you are working with multiple data centers, you can name sessions like “datacenter1, datacenter2 etc..”.

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$ tmux new -s datacenter1rn$ tmux new -s datacenter2rn

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Switch between tmux Terminal Sessions

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To easily switch between different tmux sessions, you need to enable completion of sessions names. You can use the tmux completion extension to enable it as shown:

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$ cd binrn$ git clone https://github.com/srsudar/tmux-completion.gitrn

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Then source the file ~/bin/tmux-completion/tmux in your ~/.bashrc file, by appending the following line in it.

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source  ~/bin/tmux-completion/tmuxrn

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Save the file and close it.

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Then close and reopen your terminal window, next time you enter the following command and press the Tab key, it should show you the possible session names.

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$ tmux attach -trn

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Show tmux Terminal Sessions
Show tmux Terminal Sessions

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Use Tmuxinator Session Manager

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A session manager programmatically creates tmux workspaces by running a series of commands based on a config. The most widely used tmux session manager is tmuxinator.

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Tmuxinator is a utility used to create and manage tmux sessions easily. To use it effectively, you should have a working knowledge of tmux. Importantly, you should understand what windows and panes are in tmux.

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Use Zoom to focus on a Single Process

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Last but not least, after opening up every panes, you want to focus on a single process, you can zoom the process to fill the entire screen. Simply move to the pane you want to focus on and press Ctrl+b, z (use the same to zoom out).

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When you’re finished with the zoom feature, press the same key combo to unzoom the pane.

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Read Also: 20 Useful Terminal Emulators for Linux

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That’s it! In this article, we have explained some useful tips for better tmux sessions in Linux. You can share more tips with us, or ask questions via the feedback form below.

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