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Increased Developer Productivity with Tmux, Part 1: 5-minute overview

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Regards ♨ – Minimul

 

 


Tmux is a sharp tool, learn how to use it for your own gain.

Do you use a POSIX compliant operating system for your development work? Then you need to learn Tmux. Why? Because these Operating Systems live and breath the command line. Whether it is a service like elasticsearch or zeus, or a the thousands of command line tools like git or ag, or those indispensable time-saving shell scripts you are constantly finding yourself opening a new console to help accomplish your job. Tmux provides for this reality by establishing a way to manage the console that is superior to other approaches such as tabs on a GUI-based console application.

Here is a quick overview

  • After running the tmux command I get a basic window.
  • Not that interesting yet but let's keep going.
    This section is at the 50 second mark in the screencast.
  • Split into 2 panes.
  • 2 horizontal panes that is.
  • Make a new window and rename it.
  • This window ..
    will be dedicated for git commands.
  • I make another window with 4 panes called "external services".
  • In the bottom 2 panes, Memcache & Zeus are running.
    External services window is at the 1:38 mark in the screencast.
  • Going back to the 1st window, I kill off one of the panes.
  • Kill-pane confirmation.
  • Then in vim I open a spec file. Next, the window is vertically split and a spec is run in the right window pane.
  • Very useful to have the spec output in a persistent window so you can refer to it while working on the code.
    Running specs is at the 2:30 mark in the screencast.
  • You can copy Tmux window output to the system clipboard.
  • Copy from one instance of vim ..
    and paste to another ..
    another.
    Cutting and pasting is at the 2:35 mark.
  • Panes can be resized.
  • The left pane now has ~70% of the total screen.
    The right pane now has ~70% of the total screen. Good for reading test output.
    Pane resizing is at the 3:02 mark.
  • How about a 4th window loaded with the console-based browser, Elinks.
  • Elinks is great for quick searches on API documentation.

That concludes the 5 minute Tmux overview

Stay tuned for Part 2, which I will explain the Tmux configuration file. While you are waiting for the article check out the screencast that is already baked.

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If you like this article and screencast go to the dedicated page for this series at http://minimul.com/teaches/tmux.