Skip to Content

How do I Scroll Up and Down in Tmux Sessions using Keys, Mouse, or Copy Mode

  • The content is a detailed guide on how to scroll in tmux, a terminal multiplexer that allows multiple sessions in one window.
  • The guide covers three methods of scrolling: using keys, mouse, and copy mode. It also explains how to customize the settings and key bindings for scrolling.
  • The guide provides some tips and tricks for scrolling faster and easier, as well as some FAQs and a summary.

Tmux is a powerful tool that allows you to run multiple terminal sessions in one window. You can split the window into panes, switch between sessions, and detach and reattach sessions from anywhere. Tmux also has a feature called copy mode, which lets you scroll through the output of your commands, search for text, and copy and paste text.

But how do you scroll in tmux? If you’re new to tmux, scrolling might not be as intuitive as you expect. In this guide, we’ll show you how to scroll in tmux using keys, mouse, and copy mode. We’ll also share some tips and tricks to make scrolling easier and faster.

How to scroll in tmux with keys

The simplest way to scroll in tmux is to use the keys. To enter scroll mode, press Ctrl-b followed by [. This will put you in copy mode, where you can use the arrow keys, Page Up, Page Down, Home, and End to scroll up and down. You can also use Ctrl-u and Ctrl-d to scroll half a page up and down, respectively.

To exit scroll mode, press q.

How to scroll in tmux with mouse

If you prefer using the mouse to scroll, you need to enable mouse support in tmux. To do this, add the following line to your ~/.tmux.conf file:

set -g mouse on

Then reload your tmux configuration by pressing Ctrl-b followed by : and typing source-file ~/.tmux.conf.

Now you can use the mouse wheel to scroll up and down in tmux. You can also click and drag to select text, and right-click to copy it.

How to scroll in tmux with copy mode

Copy mode is a special mode in tmux that lets you scroll, search, and copy text. You can enter copy mode by pressing Ctrl-b followed by [, or by pressing Ctrl-b followed by Page Up to go directly one page up.

In copy mode, you can use the following commands:

  • /: Search forward for a pattern
  • ?: Search backward for a pattern
  • n: Repeat the last search forward
  • N: Repeat the last search backward
  • Space: Start selection
  • Enter: Copy selection
  • q: Exit copy mode

You can also use the vi or emacs key bindings to move around in copy mode. To set your preferred key bindings, add one of these lines to your ~/.tmux.conf file:

set -g mode-keys vi
set -g mode-keys emacs

Tips and tricks for scrolling in tmux

Here are some tips and tricks to make scrolling in tmux easier and faster:

  • Increase or decrease the size of your scrollback buffer by adding set -g history-limit N to your ~/.tmux.conf file, where N is the number of lines you want to keep.
  • Scroll faster by holding down the Shift key while using the arrow keys or Page Up/Page Down.
  • Jump to the top or bottom of the buffer by pressing g or G, respectively.
  • Copy text from tmux to your system clipboard by adding bind -T copy-mode-vi y send-keys -X copy-pipe-and-cancel “xclip -selection clipboard” or bind -T copy-mode-emacs y send-keys -X copy-pipe-and-cancel “xclip -selection clipboard” to your ~/.tmux.conf file, depending on your key bindings. Then press y instead of Enter to copy text in copy mode.
  • Paste text from your system clipboard to tmux by pressing Ctrl-b followed by ].

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Question: What is tmux?

Answer: Tmux is a terminal multiplexer that lets you run multiple terminal sessions in one window. You can split the window into panes, switch between sessions, and detach and reattach sessions from anywhere.

Question: How do I install tmux?

Answer: You can install tmux from your package manager or from source. For example, on Ubuntu, you can run sudo apt install tmux. On macOS, you can run brew install tmux.

Question: How do I create a new session in tmux?

Answer: To create a new session in tmux, run tmux new -s name, where name is the name of your session. To attach to an existing session, run tmux attach -t name.

Question: How do I split the window into panes in tmux?

Answer: To split the window into panes in tmux, press Ctrl-b followed by one of these keys:

  • %: Split the window vertically
  • : Split the window horizontally
  • z: Zoom in or out of a pane
  • o: Cycle through the panes
  • x: Kill the current pane


Scrolling in tmux is not difficult once you know how to do it. You can use keys, mouse, or copy mode to scroll up and down in tmux. You can also customize your scrolling experience by changing your settings and key bindings in your ~/.tmux.conf file.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. The author and the publisher are not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information.

Alex Lim is a certified IT Technical Support Architect with over 15 years of experience in designing, implementing, and troubleshooting complex IT systems and networks. He has worked for leading IT companies, such as Microsoft, IBM, and Cisco, providing technical support and solutions to clients across various industries and sectors. Alex has a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the National University of Singapore and a master’s degree in information security from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is also the author of several best-selling books on IT technical support, such as The IT Technical Support Handbook and Troubleshooting IT Systems and Networks. Alex lives in Bandar, Johore, Malaysia with his wife and two chilrdren. You can reach him at [email protected] or follow him on Website | Twitter | Facebook

    Ads Blocker Image Powered by Code Help Pro

    Your Support Matters...

    We run an independent site that is committed to delivering valuable content, but it comes with its challenges. Many of our readers use ad blockers, causing our advertising revenue to decline. Unlike some websites, we have not implemented paywalls to restrict access. Your support can make a significant difference. If you find this website useful and choose to support us, it would greatly secure our future. We appreciate your help. If you are currently using an ad blocker, please consider disabling it for our site. Thank you for your understanding and support.