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How to use tmux (terminal multiplexer) properly on Linux or Unix

A terminal multiplexer lets you switch easily between several programs in one terminal, detach them, keep working in background and more. GNU/screen and tmux are examples of a terminal multiplexer on Linux and Unix-like system such as MacOS. tmux provides much of the same functionality as GNU/screen, but it is distributed under a BSD license. From the blog post:

I’ve been using terminal multiplexers for a few years, but never properly.

In the beginning, it was just me and the (plain) terminal. Then I started using Byobu, because it was company-standard at my first job. Later I installed tmux on my personal computer because it seemed more popular. And every time I work on a remote server, I use Screen. Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

This begs a few of questions. We’ll go through them in the next section.

As a quick aside before we dive in—’terminal multiplexer’ is an intimidating term. But none of the concepts are complex. Terminal means console and multipexing is just running numerous processes at the same time in one place.