May 27, 2019

This guide describes the configuration and use of the TMUX terminal multiplexer. TMUX is a popular alternative to the screen terminal multiplexer and provides the following features:

  • Persistent remote terminal sessions that are not lost if the SSH connection is dropped.
  • Nestable window clients: allows multiple terminal sessions over a single SSH connection.

Installing TMUX

Installing TMUX is as simple as:

$ sudo apt-get install tmux

Using TMUX


For the complete TMUX novice, here are the basic functions:

  • Log in to the remote server via ssh and start TMUX by running tmux. This starts a new TMUX session that will persist and survive accidental or intentional disconnection of the host SSH session.
  • To assign a name to the current TMUX session, press ctrl+b, $.
  • To discconect the TMUX session, leaving it active, press ctrl+b, d.
  • To reconnect to a disconnected TMUX session, run tmux attach for the default session or tmux attach -t <session-name> for a named session.
  • To end a TMUX session (such that it can’t be reconnected), simply run exit at the prompt inside the session.

If you find yourself wishing you could split the current SSH session into multiple terminals, it is strongly recommended that you read through the TMUX man page listed above. However, here are the basic TMUX commands that should get you started:

  • ctrl+b, " will split the current pane into two: top and bottom.
  • ctrl+b, arrow key will cycle to the pane in the specified direction relative to the current one.

The following commands are useful for getting TMUX panes sized correctly:

  • ctrl+b, :list-panes (and then enter): list all panes and their dimensions.
  • ctrl+b, alt+[1-5]: select one the default TMUX layouts, as described here: