Is there a way to create identifiable Byobu sessions so that when I've got multiple sessions running, the byobu-select-session menu gives me a list of sessions I can recognize, as opposed to non-descript tmux port numbers?

In an ideal world, it would be great to be able to both start a session giving it a name and to modify such a session to change a name if it's already running? Is this possible, how?

Edit 1: Some further details:

  • I'm using tmux as the backend and don't especially want to switch back to screen.
  • I've now tried starting a session with byobu -S "Name" to no avail :-(

Edit 2: Some discoveries:

  • I've now discovered a partial answer in using tmux native commands: tmux rename-session <current-name> <new-name> renames an existing session and tmux new -s session_name creates a new names session. I'm surprised byobu -S "name" isn't liked to tmux new -s session_name for byobu with a tmux backend.
  • have you tried: byobu -S your-session-name? See how to run multiple byobu sessions at once?. I don't know whether it works if byobu uses tmux instead of screen.
    – jfs
    Oct 4, 2012 at 11:33
  • 1
    Thanks for the suggestion, I've now tried byobu -S to no avail. It appears to work with tmux as the backend... Is there anything similar for tmux?
    – Ashimema
    Oct 4, 2012 at 14:51
  • 4
    byobu new -s your-session-name might work for tmux backend.
    – jfs
    Oct 4, 2012 at 14:58
  • 1
    Your a star @J.F.Sebastian , that did the trick. You can even rename a session using byobu rename-session -t <original_name> <new_name>.
    – Ashimema
    Oct 4, 2012 at 15:13
  • @J.F.Sebastian Your comment seems to be the correct answer - if you post that as answer and Ashimema accepts it then we all benefit from having another answered question.
    – guntbert
    Jan 4, 2013 at 19:54

1 Answer 1


Byobu is simply a shell for the tmux (or screen) back end terminal multiplexor. You can therefore pass any command that your back end supports through Byobu.

Byobu with tmux back end

To start a new Byobu session with a specified name:

byobu new -s <session-name>

To change the name of a pre-existing session:

byobu rename -t <session-name> <new-session-name>

Byobu with screen back end

To start a new Byobu session with a specified name:

byobu -S <session-name>

To change the name of a pre-existing session:

byobu -X <session-name> <new-session-name>

Note: All credit to J.F.Sabastian for his help. I've now verified the above commands are correct for both Tmux and Screen backed Byobu.

  • This works with tmux but not gnu screen Jan 6, 2014 at 21:39

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