tm: tmux session manager
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tm is a program for running tmux commands. For the latest version, please see its github page:

tm does the following:

1) Allows scripted starts of sessions like tmuxinator or teamocil

2) Allows for the scripts creation of new windows or panes.

3) Starts the tmux server if it isn't running.

4) Allows for the running of a tmux command if run unattached.

5) Allows for a command that if it succeed, skips the rest of the command script, so if a session exists and can be switched to, its creation is skipped.

tm uses augmented tmux source files for all of its command. These are standard tmux source files that contain conditional commands in the comments that are interpreted by the tm script.

Unlike tmux, tm can be used inside of a tmux session, allowing it to be used to switch or create sessions from the command-line easily.


tm [<options>] [<command name>]

If command name is not provided, the contents of the $TM_DEFAULT_CMD environment variable is used; if that variable is not set, the command default is used.

The following options are also supported:

  • -h Print help and exit.

  • -V Print tm version number and exit.

  • -d Run in debug mode.

  • -v Run in verbose mode.

  • -k Kill the given session. This is equivalent to tmux kill-session -t <session name>.

  • -K Kill the tmux server and exit.

  • -l List all running sessions and exit. This is equivalent to 'tmux list-sessions'.

  • -ls List all available command files. This is intended for use with auto-completion.

  • -S Start the tmux server.

The command name can be one of two forms:

1) If it contains a slash, it will be treated as an absolute or relative path to a file to be used.

2) Otherwise, it should be a file in the path specified by $TM_CMD_PATH if set or ~/.tmux/tm/ otherwise.

Command Files

Command files should be files suitable for use with tmux source-file with the following special commands (that are comments as far as tmux is concerned):

  • #@tm-attach: <tmux command> If the command is run whn not attached to a tmux session the given tmux command will be executed.

  • #@tm-try: <tmux command> If present, tmux command is executed and if it succeeds (returns zero) then the rest of the command script is not run. This allows for trying to switch to a session before creating it.

Init Script

If you source in your bash or zshrc startup, this script will look for ~/.tmux/init/*window name* or ~/.tmux/init/*session name* in that order, and if either exists, source it. This allows every shell started in a window or session to run some common initialization code to, e.g., change the working directory, set up the environment, run a command.

You probably want to source this file late in your shell initialization after your PATH and other configuration is complete. also provides some functions for use in a shell running in tmux:


Prints the name of the tmux session containing the shell.


Prints the name of the tmux window containing the shell.


Prints the name of the tmux pane containing the shell.

tmux_set_pane_title <new title>

Sets the title of the tmux pane containing the shell.

Example session script.

# Switch to or create session "default"
# If we're not attached, try attaching to "default"
#@tm-attach: new-session -t default
# Try switching to session, if this succeeds, then we'rd done.
#@tm-try: switch-client -t default
# Create session "default" and initial windows
new-session -s default -n default
split-window -h
# Use send-keys so we run reattach-to-user-namespace
new-window -n vifm
send-keys "vifm" "Enter"
new-window -n tasks
send-keys "vit" "Enter"
# Select initial pane in initial window
select-window -t default:default
select-pane -t 0


If tm is run when not attached to a tmux session it will try to attach. By default it will run tmux attach but a more specific command can be specified using #@tm-attach: in a command file.

Starting the tmux server

If tm is run and a tmux server isn't running, it will start one. A session will be created as part of this process with the name tm-session. This can be overridden by the enironment variable $TM_START_SESSION_NAME.


If ~/.tmux/tmrc exists it will be sourced by tm. This can be used to override the following tm variables:

# Path to tm command files

# Default tm command if none given

# Session and window name to use if starting tmux server

# tmux binary name

# tmux arguments

Bash Auto-Completion

If you source you will get auto-completion with bash. That is, tm <tab> will list both all running sessions you can attach to and all sessions that tm knows about based on start up scripts.

ZSH Auto-Completion

The file _tm provides autocompletion for zsh. To utilize it, place the file in a directory which is included in your fpath, e.g. assuming _tm is in ~/tm/:

fpath=( ~/tm/ $path)