Linux Tactic

Mastering the Command Line: Simplifying Terminal Windows with Tmux

For those who work with the command line interface regularly, organizing and managing multiple terminal windows can be a cumbersome task. Fortunately, tmux can help to simplify the process.

Tmux, short for terminal multiplexer, is a program that enables users to create and manage multiple sessions, windows, and panes from a single terminal window. In this article, we will discuss the installation of tmux on Linux, how to start a session, manage and navigate through tmux panes, and some keyboard shortcuts associated with its usage.

Installing tmux on Linux

Before we can begin using tmux, it must be installed on the system. The installation process will vary slightly depending on the Linux distribution being used.

Generally, most distributions include a package for tmux in their default repositories. For Debian/Ubuntu-based systems, enter the following command in the terminal:

sudo apt-get install tmux

For Fedora/CentOS/RHEL-based systems:

sudo yum install tmux

For Arch Linux:

sudo pacman -S tmux

Starting a tmux session

Once tmux is installed, a new session can be initiated by simply typing tmux in the terminal and then pressing the Enter key. The command prompt will disappear, and you will enter into tmux.

Within tmux, you can create and manage windows and panes.

Keyboard shortcuts and prefixes

The use of keyboard shortcuts and prefixes is integral to using tmux efficiently. The default prefix for tmux is Ctrl-b, meaning that each of the commands must begin with this combination of keys.

When combining these prefixes with other keys, various functions are executed. Here are a few essential keyboard shortcuts to get familiar with:

1.

Create a new window

Enter the following command:

Ctrl-b+c

This command will create a new window within the current tmux session. 2.

Switch to a specific window

Enter the following command:

Ctrl-b+the number of the window

For example, to switch to window 3, type

Ctrl-b+3

3.

Splitting windows into separate panes

The command to split the window is:

Ctrl-b+% for vertical split

Ctrl-b+” for horizontal split

4.

Moving around panes

To move around the panes (both vertically or horizontally), enter the following command:

Ctrl-b+arrow keys

Opening and navigating between tmux windows

Within tmux, a window represents an independent terminal session. You can open as many windows as you need, and within each window, you can create multiple panes.

Here are a few commands for creating and navigating between windows:

1. Create a new window

Enter the following command:

Ctrl-b+c

This command will create a new window within the current tmux session.

2. Switch to a specific window

Enter the following command:

Ctrl-b+the number of the window

For example, to switch to window 3, type

Ctrl-b+3

3.

Scroll through window history

Sometimes, it may be necessary to navigate through some of the previously executed commands or text that was output to the terminal. Tmux makes it easy to scroll through window history.

Enter the following command:

Ctrl-b+the square bracket key [

This command puts you into copy mode, where you can navigate with arrow keys or page up/down.

Splitting windows into separate panes

Tmux enables users to split a window into multiple panes. By doing so, different commands, files or directories can be viewed or worked on simultaneously.

Here are a few commands for splitting windows:

1. Split horizontally

Enter the following command to split a window horizontally:

Ctrl-b+”

This command will split the current pane into two horizontal panes.

2. Split vertically

Enter the following command to split a window vertically:

Ctrl-b+%

This command will split the current pane into two vertical panes.

3. Resize a pane

To resize a pane, hold down Ctrl-b and then use the arrow keys to adjust the size.

Conclusion

In conclusion, tmux is a powerful tool that simplifies working with multiple terminal windows. The program is lightweight and versatile, making it a popular choice for developers who spend a lot of time on the command line.

With the knowledge gained from this article, you can take full advantage of the features offered by tmux to enhance your workflow. Remember to keep practicing and exploring tmux to get the most out of this incredibly useful tool!

In this article, we discussed the installation of tmux on Linux and how to start a session, navigate through tmux panes, and use keyboard shortcuts and prefixes.

Tmux is an essential tool for handling multiple terminal windows and panes efficiently. We hope this guide has provided you with the necessary knowledge to utilize tmux and improve your productivity while working with the command line.

Keep practicing the commands, and enjoy the benefits of using tmux in your workflow.

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