You can have multiple tmux sessions running at the same time then jump in and out (aka attach / detach) of them, switch between them, and manage them from both from the terminal and from within a session itself.

From the terminal

tmux starts a new tmux session
tmux ls lists available sessions (aka list-sessions)
tmux a attaches to the most recently used session
tmux a -t 1 attach to session number 1
tmux a -t foo attach to session with name that starts ‘foo’
tmux $ foo renames the session you’re attached to to ‘foo’
tmux kill-session kill the session

While in a session

ctrl + b d detach from session
ctrl + b w overview of session and windows (use q to quit)
ctrl + b ( move to previous session
ctrl + b ) move to next session


The following commands are performed while in a tmux session and require the prefix to be used first. By default this will be ctrl + b.

% split pane vertically
split pane horizontally
; previous pane
o next pane
q show pane numbers (then hit number to jump to that pane)
ctrl + o rotate panes (I often hit this by accident instead of next pane)


Used while inside a session and require the prefix.

, rename
w list (then select using arrows)
n next
p previous
1 jump to window 1

Change window order

Change (aka swap) the order of tmux windows using the swap-window command, it accepts a source -s and a destination -t argument. Note that by default the ordering of tmux windows will be zero based but I changed this in my tmux.conf file.

# move window in position 3 to position 1
swap-window -s 3 -t 1

Sourcing the config file

After making changes to your .tmux.conf file don’t try and source it from terminal: you need to source the file from within tmux. So just open a tmux session, hit ctrl-b then : and source the file from there. This has caught me out loads of times because terminal will show an error message making you think you’ve made an error in the config file.