Building VTS

The Official VTS Engineering Blog

Everyday I’m TMUXin’

By Gustavo Matias

One of the problems I had when using terminals was being organized and stay on top of everything that was happening throughout all terminal tabs: logs, jobs, SSH connections, Text Editor (if you’re into terminal-based editors), and the list goes on..

Even though we can only do one thing at a time, there are times where we just want to have a glance at what’s happening in another terminal tab, and the fastest and most effortless way to do that is by moving your eyeballs just a liiiiiiittle bit, without bothering touching your keyboard or mouse.

If you wish you could have all of that in a single terminal window, look no further! Fortunately there is TMUX!

TMUX is a Terminal MUltipleXer for UNIX-like operating systems. In its simplest form, it’s a terminal window manager where you have windows and panes, and it allows you to customize as you wish, all of that in a single terminal instance.

There’s no better explanation than showing exactly how it looks:

super cool TMUX image

In the TMUX world, the way windows and panes are called is a bit different than you might expect. A TMUX session can have many windows and each window can have many panes, and each pane is essentially a terminal instance.

The ability to have many panes inside a window is what allows us to have all (or most) of our processes running on the same screen. This might save you tons time in the long run! :)

To start messing messing with TMUX is actually not that daunting! Just run the installation command below, then start it by executing tmux and have fun! Try creating some windows and panes by checking out this awesome cheatsheet. You’ll get it in no time!


Mac OS: brew install tmux

Ubuntu/Debian: sudo apt-get install tmux

For Windows users, unless you’re using a UNIX VM or Cygwin you’ll be out of luck =/. However, there are other excellent terminal manager alternatives out there and I’m sure one of them was carefully made so you can use on your PC :D.

There’s much more to say about TMUX and not so much time to write (or read), so we’ll leave the details for the coming posts!

If you’re interested in reading more about TMUX, I highly suggest you read this amazing tiny book from The Pragmatic Bookshelf and checkout TMUX’s official web page.