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Make terminal vim and tmux work better together.
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FocusGained and FocusLost autocommand events are not working in terminal vim. This plugin restores them when using vim inside Tmux.

Here's where that matters:

  • vim-fugitive plugin uses FocusGained for refreshing git branch in status line
  • vim-gitgutter uses FocusGained for refreshing ... (wait for it) git gutter
  • vim-tmux-clipboard uses FocusGained and FocusLost for refreshing clipboard.
  • (get in touch if you know other popular plugins that get improved)

Also, vim-tmux-focus-events makes the autoread option work properly for terminal vim. So far, this was only working in a GUI version.

The autoread feature comes handy when files are changed outside vim, for example when resolving merge conflicts. When you come back to vim and try saving a changed file you'll likely be interrupted with E813:

vim E813

Improved autoread prevents this by automatically reading a file from disk if it was changed. Works only if autoread option is set (enable it with set autoread in .vimrc).

Installation & Configuration

Vim plugin installation

  • Vundle
    Plugin 'tmux-plugins/vim-tmux-focus-events'

  • vim-plug
    Plug 'tmux-plugins/vim-tmux-focus-events'

  • Pathogen
    git clone git:// ~/.vim/bundle/vim-tmux-focus-events

Tmux configuration

In order for Tmux to do its magic focus-events option has to be set to on.

Enable that by installing tmux-sensible plugin, or by setting this line in tmux.conf:

set -g focus-events on


Tested and working on:

  • OS X

    • iTerm2
  • Linux

    • GNOME Terminal
    • Terminator
    • XTerm
    • Konsole
    • st

It works both on vim and neovim.


Once installed, the plugin should "just work".

It will have no effect when running GUI vim or inside plain terminal (without Tmux).

Other goodies


Big chunk of code was taken and adapted from vitality.vim.


In April 2013 a patch was submitted to vim_dev mailing list that enables this functionality natively in vim. Once merged, the functionality from the patch will make this plugin obsolete. I hope that day comes soon.



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