Enjoying Open Source Software

Tag and kill several Tmux windows

At the end of the day I usually end up with a lot of windows in my Tmux session, each with one or sometimes two panes (I have almost never more than two panes in any of my Tmux window).

Usually I don't want to kill my entire Tmux session, so I have to close the windows I won't be needing the next day.

Tmux tree mode

For this, the Tmux tree mode is very useful.

Tmux tree mode displays a list to browse sessions, windows and panes in the upper part of the window.

In the lower part of the window Tmux tree mode displays a part of the pane(s) of the current window. Using the up and down arrow keys, or j and k if you activated vi mode, selects other windows in the list and shows the pane(s) of those windows.

This is an easy way to search for a certain pane, but is also useful for other actions.

The list starts with sessions expanded so windows are shown and with the current window in the attached session selected.

O (shift-o) reverses the sort order.

You can tag items in the tree with t. t toggles the tag, so hitting t again will untag the item. T (shift-t) untags all tagged items, and Ctrl-t tags all times in the list.

The default key binding for switching to tree mode is <prefix>-w.

My Tmux configuration binds <prefix> to Ctrl-a.

This means that Ctrl-A w switches to tree mode.

Killing windows

After selecting one or more windows with t, you can kill all tagged windows with X (shift-x).

This will kill the tagged windows including all the panes in the tagged windows.

Entire workflow

Wrapping it up, this means, at the end of the day, I do:

Ctrl-A w
... tag windows with t


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