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Allows display of periodically updating Hackernews headlines in tmux.
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Allows display of periodically updating Hackernews headlines in tmux statusbar.


Tmux Plugin Manager

If you're using Tmux Plugin Manager (TPM), add this line to your .tmux.conf file in your plugin list:

set -g @plugin 'teolandon/tmux-hackernews'

Then use Prefix + I to install it.

Manual Installation

Clone this repository using git:

git clone htpps:// ~/path/to/plugin

Of course, substituting ~/path/to/plugin with whatever path you want to store this plugin in.

Then, add this line at the end of your .tmux.conf:

run-shell ~/path/to/plugin/hackernews.tmux

Again, substitue the path with your desired path. Reload your .tmux.conf or restart the tmux server, and the plugin should be active. To reload your .tmux.conf use

tmux source-file ~/.tmux.conf

or wherever your tmux config file is located at.

Usage and formatting


Include the format string #{headline} somewhere in status-right or status-left, and they should render as the current headline. Example:

# This is in .tmux.conf
set -g status-right ' #{headline} | %d/$m | %H:%M:%S '

This will display the headline next to date and time, without any formatting.

If a headline is particularly interesting, use Prefix + h to open it up in your selected browser.


The headline format string should be substituted by a headline from Hackernews. Headlines are cut off at a character limit specified in the tmux user option @hackernews-max-chars.

Headlines to be shown are picked from the current top 30 stories in the frontpage every 2 hours by default, and cycle around until new ones get pulled, meaning that the displayed headline increments every 4 minutes.


tmux-hackernews uses tmux user options as customization variables. Simply set them to what you want in your .tmux.conf file. For example, if you want to set @var-name to var-value, write this:

set -g @var-name 'var-value'

List of variables

  • @hackernews-browser - Choose your browser by editing this variable. The plugin assumes that your browser takes a URL as a single argument and opens it up in a new tab. If your browser needs an option to open the tab in your liking, you should add the option, it will be considered. If you need options after the url, then leave an issue and I will look into implementing that. Defaults to xdg-open.
  • @hackernews-max-chars - Specify the maximum character width you desire the headline field to take. Any headlines longer than this character width will be truncated with three dots in the end. Fixed width and dynamic width options might be implemented in a future update. Defaults to 80.
  • @hackernews-scroll - Enables scroll keybinds when set to 'true', disables them when unset or set to anything else.
  • @hackernews-period - Custom period for the 30 headlines to be scrolled through. In hours. Several hour values will miss out on the last few headlines, and will act weirdly when passing midnight, due to bash not being able to work with float numbers, and I'm not currently interested in implementing a fix.



  • Prefix + h opens up the link to the current headline on your system's browser.


These keybinds are enabled by setting the tmux option @hackernews-scroll to 'true'.

  • Prefix + > shows the next headline.

  • Prefix + < shows the previous headline.

Let me know if there are any conflicts with other popular tmux plugins.

Planned Features

  • Switch from curl-ing the whole website to using the API. Will possibly allow for easy implementation of more than 30 headlines.
  • Pulling headlines from other news sites or at least pages of ycombinator.
  • Got any new ideas for features? Leave them as an enhancement in the Issues page!


This plugin is heavily inspired and modeled after tmux-battery.


  • Figure out if you can retroactively apply release versions on github.
  • Keep updating!
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