How To Install Tmux Terminal Multiplexer on Linux

Install Tmux Terminal Multiplexer on Linux

If you’re a Linux user who frequently works with the command line, you might find yourself juggling multiple terminal sessions, SSH connections, or long-running processes. This is where tmux, a powerful terminal multiplexer, comes into play. Tmux allows you to efficiently manage multiple terminal sessions within a single window, making it an essential tool for developers, system administrators, and power users. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the process of installing tmux on various Linux distributions and explore its key features, configuration options, and usage tips.

What is a Terminal Multiplexer?

Before diving into tmux, let’s first understand what a terminal multiplexer is and why it’s beneficial. A terminal multiplexer is a software utility that enables you to run multiple terminal sessions within a single terminal window. It provides a way to create, manage, and switch between multiple sessions, each running its own shell or application. The primary benefits of using a terminal multiplexer like tmux include:

    1. Running multiple programs simultaneously in a single terminal window
    2. Detaching and reattaching sessions, allowing you to resume work later or from a different machine
    3. Preserving sessions even if the SSH connection is lost or the terminal is closed
    4. Splitting the terminal window into multiple panes for better organization and multitasking

Tmux is a popular alternative to another well-known terminal multiplexer called GNU Screen. While both tools serve similar purposes, tmux offers a more modern and user-friendly interface, making it a preferred choice for many Linux users.

Key Features of Tmux

Before we proceed with the installation, let’s take a closer look at the key features offered by tmux:

    1. Sessions: A tmux session is a collection of windows and panes. You can create multiple sessions, each with its own set of windows and panes. Sessions can be detached and reattached, allowing you to resume your work later or from a different machine.
    2. Windows: Within a tmux session, you can create multiple windows. Windows act like tabs in a web browser, allowing you to switch between different tasks or applications easily. Each window can be divided into multiple panes for further organization.
    3. Panes: Panes are split-screen terminals within a tmux window. You can divide a window horizontally or vertically into multiple panes, each running its own shell or application. This feature is particularly useful when you need to view multiple files or run different commands side by side.
    4. Customization: Tmux is highly customizable through its configuration file, typically located at ~/.tmux.conf. You can modify key bindings, change the appearance of the status bar, set default options, and more to suit your preferences and workflow.
    5. Scriptability: Tmux can be scripted to automate the creation of complex window and pane layouts. This is especially handy when you have a specific development environment or workspace that you frequently use.

Install Tmux Terminal Multiplexer on Linux

Installation is pretty straightforward if you have Ubuntu, Arch,  OpenSUSE, or CentOS distribution you can install Tmux using the following command below:

### Debian / Ubuntu-based ###
sudo apt install tmux

### Arch Linux based ###
sudo pacman -S tmux

### OpenSUSE based ###
sudo zypper install tmux

### macOS based ###
brew install tmux

### RedHat / CentOS-based ###
sudo dnf install tmux

After the installation is finished, then type Tmux on your console to run Tmux:


Using Tmux

Here’s a table summarizing the basic commands for using Tmux on Linux:

Command Description
tmux Start a new Tmux session
tmux attach Reattach to a detached Tmux session
tmux new-session Start a new Tmux session in a detached state
tmux list-sessions List all Tmux sessions
tmux switch-session Switch to a different Tmux session
tmux kill-session Kill a Tmux session

And here’s an example of using Tmux on Linux:

  1. Start a new Tmux session: tmux
  2. Create a new window: Ctrl + b followed by c
  3. Split the current window into two panes vertically: Ctrl + b followed by %
  4. Split the current window into two panes horizontally: Ctrl + b followed by "
  5. Navigate between windows: Ctrl + b followed by n (next) or p (Previous)
  6. Navigate between panes: Ctrl + b followed by Up arrow (up) or Down arrow (down) or Left arrow (left) or Right arrow (right)
  7. Detach from the Tmux session: Ctrl + b followed by d

Note: The above example uses the default Tmux key bindings. If you’ve changed your key bindings, the commands may be different.


Tmux is a versatile and powerful terminal multiplexer that can significantly enhance your command-line productivity on Linux. By allowing you to manage multiple sessions, windows, and panes within a single terminal window, tmux streamlines your workflow and enables you to efficiently multitask.

In this guide, we covered the installation process for tmux on various Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, Debian, CentOS, RHEL, and Fedora. We also explored the key features of tmux, such as sessions, windows, and panes, and provided step-by-step instructions on how to start and manage them effectively.



r00t is a seasoned Linux system administrator with a wealth of experience in the field. Known for his contributions to, r00t has authored numerous tutorials and guides, helping users navigate the complexities of Linux systems. His expertise spans across various Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, CentOS, and Debian. r00t's work is characterized by his ability to simplify complex concepts, making Linux more accessible to users of all skill levels. His dedication to the Linux community and his commitment to sharing knowledge makes him a respected figure in the field.
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