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basic tmux settings everyone can agree on
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Tmux sensible

A set of tmux options that should be acceptable to everyone.

Inspired by vim-sensible.

Tested and working on Linux, OSX and Cygwin.


  • tmux-sensible options should be acceptable to every tmux user!
    If any of the options bothers you, please open an issue and it will probably be updated (or removed).
  • if you think a new option should be added, feel free to open a pull request.
  • no overriding of user defined settings.
    Your existing .tmux.conf settings are respected and they won't be changed. That way you can use tmux-sensible if you have a few specific options.


  • group standard tmux community options in one place
  • remove clutter from your .tmux.conf
  • educate new tmux users about basic options


# utf8 is on
set -g utf8 on
set -g status-utf8 on

# address vim mode switching delay (
set -s escape-time 0

# increase scrollback buffer size
set -g history-limit 50000

# tmux messages are displayed for 4 seconds
set -g display-time 4000

# refresh 'status-left' and 'status-right' more often
set -g status-interval 5

# set only on OS X where it's required
set -g default-command "reattach-to-user-namespace -l $SHELL"

# upgrade $TERM
set -g default-terminal "screen-256color"

# emacs key bindings in tmux command prompt (prefix + :) are better than
# vi keys, even for vim users
set -g status-keys emacs

# focus events enabled for terminals that support them
set -g focus-events on

# super useful when using "grouped sessions" and multi-monitor setup
setw -g aggressive-resize on

Key bindings

# easier and faster switching between next/prev window
bind C-p previous-window
bind C-n next-window

Above bindings enhance the default prefix + p and prefix + n bindings by allowing you to hold Ctrl and repeat a + p/a + n (if your prefix is C-a), which is a lot quicker.

# source .tmux.conf as suggested in `man tmux`
bind R source-file '~/.tmux.conf'

"Adaptable" key bindings that build upon your prefix value:

# if prefix is 'C-a'
bind C-a send-prefix
bind a last-window

If prefix is C-b, above keys will be C-b and b.
If prefix is C-z, above keys will be C-z and z... you get the idea.

Installation with Tmux Plugin Manager (recommended)

Add plugin to the list of TPM plugins in .tmux.conf:

set -g @plugin 'tmux-plugins/tmux-sensible'

Hit prefix + I to fetch the plugin and source it. That's it!

Manual Installation

Clone the repo:

$ git clone ~/clone/path

Add this line to the bottom of .tmux.conf:

run-shell ~/clone/path/sensible.tmux

Reload TMUX environment with $ tmux source-file ~/.tmux.conf, and that's it.

Other goodies

You might also find these useful:

  • copycat improve tmux search and reduce mouse usage
  • pain control useful standard bindings for controlling panes
  • resurrect persists tmux environment across system restarts



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