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Manage complex tmux sessions easily
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Create and manage tmux sessions easily.



gem install tmuxinator

Editor and Shell

tmuxinator uses your shell's default editor for opening files. If you're not sure what that is type:

echo $EDITOR

For me that produces "vim" If you want to change your default editor simply put a line in ~/.bashrc that changes it. Mine looks like this:

export EDITOR='vim'


The recommended version of tmux to use is 1.8. Your mileage may vary for earlier versions. Refer to the FAQ for any odd behaviour.


If you use a base-index other than the default, please be sure to also set the pane-base-index

set-window-option -g pane-base-index 1


Download the appropriate completion file from the repo and source the file. The following are example where the completion file has been downloaded into ~/.bin.


Add the following to your ~/.bashrc:

source ~/.bin/tmuxinator.bash


Add the following to your ~/.zshrc:

source ~/.bin/tmuxinator.zsh


Move to your completions folder:

cp ~/.bin/ ~/.config/fish/completions/


A working knowledge of tmux is assumed. You should understand what windows and panes are in tmux. If not please consult the man pages for tmux.

Create a project

Create or edit your projects with:

tmuxinator new [project]

For editing you can also use tmuxinator open [project]. new is aliased to o,open, e, edit and n. Please note that dots can't be used in project names as tmux uses them internally to delimit between windows and panes. Your default editor ($EDITOR) is used to open the file. If this is a new project you will see this default config:

# ~/.tmuxinator/sample.yml

name: sample
root: ~/

# Optional. tmux socket
# socket_name: foo

# Runs before everything. Use it to start daemons etc.
# pre: sudo /etc/rc.d/mysqld start

# Runs in each window and pane before window/pane specific commands. Useful for setting up interpreter versions.
# pre_window: rbenv shell 2.0.0-p247

# Pass command line options to tmux. Useful for specifying a different tmux.conf.
# tmux_options: -f ~/.tmux.mac.conf

# Change the command to call tmux.  This can be used by derivatives/wrappers like byobu.
# tmux_command: byobu

# Specifies (by name or index) which window will be selected on project startup. If not set, the first window is used.
# startup_window: logs

  - editor:
      layout: main-vertical
        - vim
        - guard
  - server: bundle exec rails s
  - logs: tail -f log/development.log


The windows option allows the specification of any number of tmux windows. Each window is denoted by a YAML array entry, followed by a name and command to be run.

  - editor: vim

Window specific root

An optional root option can be specified per window:

name: test
root: ~/projects/company

  - small_project:
      root: ~/projects/company/small_project
        - start this
        - start that

This takes precedence over the main root option.


Note that if you wish to use panes, make sure that you do not have . in your project name. tmux uses . to delimit between window and pane indices, and tmuxinator uses the project name in combination with these indices to target the correct pane or window.

Panes are optional and are children of window entries, but unlike windows, they do not need a name. In the following example, the editor window has 2 panes, one running vim, the other guard.

  - editor:
      layout: main-vertical
        - vim
        - guard

The layout setting gets handed down to tmux directly, so you can choose from one of the five standard layouts or specify your own.

Interpreter Managers & Environment Variables

To use tmuxinator with rbenv, RVM, NVM etc, use the pre_window option.

pre_window: rbenv shell 2.0.0-p247

These command(s) will run before any subsequent commands in all panes and windows.

Custom attachment and post commands

You can set tmuxiniator to skip auto-attaching to the session by using the attach option.

attach: false

You can also run arbitrary commands by using the post option. This is useful if you want to attach to tmux in a non-standard way (e.g. for a program that makes use of tmux control mode like iTerm2).

post: tmux -CC attach

Passing directly to send-keys

tmuxinator passes commands directly to send keys. This differs from simply chaining commands together using && or ;, in that tmux will directly send the commands to a shell as if you typed them in. This allows commands to be executed on a remote server over SSH for example.

To support this both the window and pane options can take an array as an argument:

name: sample
root: ~/

  - stats:
    - ssh
    - tail -f /var/log/stats.log
  - logs:
      layout: main-vertical
        - logs:
          - ssh
          - cd /var/logs
          - tail -f development.log


Project files support ERB for reusability across environments. Eg:

root: <%= ENV["MY_CUSTOM_DIR"] %>

Starting a session

This will fire up tmux with all the tabs and panes you configured.

tmuxinator start [project] [alias]

If you use the optional [alias] argument, it will start a new tmux session with the custom alias name provided. This is to enable reuse of a project without tmux session name collision.

If there is a ./.tmuxinator.yml file in the current working directory but not a named project file in ~/.tmuxinator, tmuxinator will use the local file. This is primarily intended to be used for sharing tmux configurations in complex development environments.


A shorthand alias for tmuxinator can also be used.

mux [command]

Other Commands

Copy an existing project. Aliased to c and cp

tmuxinator copy [existing] [new]

List all the projects you have configured. Aliased to l and ls

tmuxinator list

Remove a project. Aliased to rm

tmuxinator delete [project]

Remove all tmuxinator configs, aliases and scripts. Aliased to i

tmuxinator implode

Examines your environment and identifies problems with your configuration

tmuxinator doctor

Shows tmuxinator's help. Aliased to h

tmuxinator help

Shows the shell commands that get executed for a project

tmuxinator debug [project]

Shows tmuxinator's version.

tmuxinator version


Window names are not displaying properly?

Add export DISABLE_AUTO_TITLE=true to your .zshrc or .bashrc


To contribute, please read the contributing guide.


Copyright (c) 2010-2014 Allen Bargi, Christopher Chow. See LICENSE for further details.

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