I want to copy the default tmux.conf file to my home directory, but I can't find the location in Ubuntu 12.04. The man page states that the file resides at /etc/tmux.conf however this does not match with my setup.

  • 5
    To find a file with name <filename> in a directory <directoryname> use the following command: find <directory> -iname <filename>.
    – green
    Sep 24 '12 at 11:32

You can use the current (default) settings as a starting point:

tmux show -g | cat > ~/.tmux.conf

Note the pipe to cat is required for now because of a known bug when redirecting tmux stdout to file.

  • 17
    or tmux show -g | sed 's/^/set-option -g /' > ~/.tmux.conf: that would already prepend all the lines with a set -g Nov 6 '13 at 13:33
  • I got the error: no server running on /tmp/tmux-0/default
    – RutgerH
    Aug 7 '17 at 19:53
  • @RutgerH start tmux then detach session then do this command. I also saw this :D
    – Kangarooo
    Nov 7 '17 at 17:32
  • 3
    You don't need cat. Just do tmux show -g > ~/.tmux.conf. Using cat like this is known as UUOC - "useless use of cat". Nov 22 '17 at 18:41
  • 1
    this doesn't return me anything, just quits back to the prompt...
    – orszaczky
    Mar 8 at 10:06

As per dpkg -L tmux which shows you what files the package installed, there is no default tmux.conf included in the package. /etc/tmux.conf is just a location that you may use (only makes sense with multiple users using tmux) that will be evaluated before ~/.tmux.conf. You have to create your own .conf file. Have a look at this for example (first hit on google):


  • 5
    Not Found The requested URL /~wired/conf/tmux.conf was not found on this server. Apache Server at dev.gentoo.org Port 443
    – Kangarooo
    Nov 7 '17 at 17:33

There is no default /etc/tmux.conf file. You can start with the example conf files in /usr/share/doc/tmux/examples, or look at the manual/web/etc. to come up with your own configuration file.

The examples directory contains:


The top answer's tmux show -g | cat > ~/.tmux.conf did not work for me since I got a bunch of unknown command errors.

Upon further digging it has to do with the syntax change so tmux show -g no longer generates valid config files. You must prepend every line with set -g in order for this to work or run:

tmux show -g | sed 's/^/set -g /' > ~/.tmux.conf

The config file is located in /usr/share/tmux, not in /usr/share/doc/tmux.

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