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I was using byobu on Ubuntu 11.10 Server and I needed to hit a function key in an app, so I hit F9 to bring up the config menu and switched the keybinding set from "f-keys" to "screen-escape-keys". That worked, but now I can't re-enable all the f-keys.

I found a program byobu-config that brings up the menu again, and I can switch back to screen keys from there. This fixes things for new screen processes, but the effect on the current screen session is weird: it disables the ctrl-a (screen) keys and restores F2-F8, but F9-F12 still don't do anything (they're just passed on to the foreground process).

What's up with this? Any ideas? Thanks in advance.

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up vote 18 down vote accepted

Just press SHIFT-F12 To toggle F-keys on and off.

Example : Launch htop (within a byobu pane of course) then enter SHIFT-F12, then if you press F3 you will search in htop processes, not create a byobu window.

Related question with answer also for screen.

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Note to future self: ignore the accepted answer status - this doesn't work for me. – Yang Oct 14 '12 at 20:15
Thank you very much. I was struggling to figure out why I can't switch windows all of a sudden. – wujj123456 Nov 5 '12 at 19:44
Does not work any more... (using ubuntu 12.04.1) – zipizap Jan 9 '13 at 15:01
Works on Ubuntu 14.04 – biocyberman Jul 29 '15 at 20:00
I guess this does not work on byobu-screen. Check @Dustin Kirkland's answer if does not work for you and you use byobu-screen. – hamdiakoguz Feb 10 at 17:08

You can also toggle between the f-keys bindings and the screen-escape-keys bindings using:

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Here this displays the message "can't break with only one pane" are you sure of this shortcut ? – philipyassin Oct 1 '12 at 8:42
That only works in byobu-screen, not in byobu-tmux ( In the latter the correct combination is SHIFT-F12. – invernizzi Nov 28 '12 at 20:40
This does work on Ubuntu 12.04.1 (NOTE: answer SHIFT-F12 does not work) – zipizap Jan 9 '13 at 15:03
Note that this will also reset your meta/escape key, probably because it just sources /usr/share/byobu/keybindings/f-keys.screen.disable which has the line escape ^Aa. If you for example used 't' as your escape key you can set it again by hitting ctrl-a and then :escape ^Tt. – Perseids Feb 15 '14 at 10:29

We can attempt to debug your particular problem, however it would be much easier to just clean out your Byobu configuration and start clean:

rm -rf ~/.byobu

On 11.04, you'll also need to remove the folder this symlink points to:

rm -rf ~/.local/share/byobu

And then start byobu.

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make your ~/.byobu/keybindings look like this:

# source $BYOBU_PREFIX/share/byobu/keybindings/common
. /usr/share/byobu/keybindings/f-keys.screen.disable

and select screen as byobu's backend via byobu-select-backend . that works in debian, at least.

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