tmux Basics

tmux is a terminal multiplexer for Unix-like operating systems. It allows multiple terminal sessions to be accessed simultaneously in a single window. It is useful for running more than one command-line program at the same time. It can also be used to detach processes from their controlling terminals, allowing SSH sessions to remain active without being visible.1

There are a lot of great cheatsheets, demos, and resources for how to use tmux234.

In general tmux can help manage three components:

  • sessions
  • windows
  • panes

What follows will be a series of commands that starts a session with ping, the tmux clock, and htop running with the pane layout customized to look like the following:

Start a new tmux session called “demo”:

tmux new-session -s demo

Start running ping:


Split vertically to create a second pane:

ctrl-b + %

Start the big clock:

ctrl-b + t

Split horizontally to create a third pane:

ctrl-b + "

Do something else (in this case open htop):


Resize the pane beneath the clock:

ctrl-b + :resize-pane -U 5

Remove the pane beneath the clock:

ctrl-b + x + y

Detach from the session:

ctrl-b + :detach

Kill the session altogether:

tmux kill-session -t demo