I have been using screen on linux for ... a long time. I never used a lot of the advanced features but when you are accessing a server via SSH being able to detach a shell or not to loose it when your connection failed is a huge plus.

I could have installed screen on my server but as tmux is part of the base system in OpenBSD why not give it a try ?

First I read this FAQ regarding the difference between screen and tmux: tmux FAQ. I did not find anything that can make me uncomfortable in using tmux so time to start using it.

As usual with OpenBSD the man page is great, but very very long so I searched for a good tutorial. One the best I found is this one (made of 2 articles) from the Hawk Host Blog. Simple to read and to understand.

With this and a bit of experiment I was able to make a simple, basic .tmux.conf :

#Set status bar
set -g status-bg black
set -g status-fg white
set -g status-left '#[fg=green]#h'

#Highlight active window
set-window-option -g window-status-current-bg red

# Automatically set window title
setw -g automatic-rename on

# Set window notifications
setw -g monitor-activity on

# Change split command
unbind %
bind | split-window -h
bind - split-window -v

# last window binding
bind-key C-b last-window

I will not detail each line (most are for cosmetic).

The last line is the command I use heavily, by pressing Ctrl-b twice (Ctrl-b is the equivalent of the Ctrl-a of screen) you can go back and forth between 2 tabs.

Right now I am using two tmux session, the first one usually got 3 tabs:

  • mcabber a xmpp client
  • irssi an irc client (I know about bitlebee to use irssi to replace mcabber, did not had time for now)
  • a shell prompt waiting for my packages intall, configure, reading man pages, etc

My irssi tab is splitted with a small pane on the right to hold the nicklist (nicklist.pl plugin of irssi using the FIFO mode).

The second tmux session is for testing a daemon, it contains 2 tabs:

  • the running daemon (not daemonized so I can see the output)
  • shell for man, test, etc

So I can now add tmux to my resume (kidding don't do that :p ) !