I've setup the alt + arrow keys bindings for changing tab in vim (in .vimrc):

map <silent><A-Right> :tabnext<CR> 
map <silent><A-Left> :tabprevious<CR> 

this however does not work under byobu with tmux backend, I guess because it is remapped by byobu.

I tried setting:

unbind -n M-right
unbind -n M-left

in .tmux.conf or .byobu/keybindings.tmux without success.

Anyone has a suggestion on how to fix it?


You're so close! You're just missing the capitalization of "R" in M-Right and "L" in M-Left.

Just add the following to ~/.byobu/keybindings.tmux:

unbind -n M-Right
unbind -n M-Left

And then press F5 to reload your profile.

Full Disclosure: I am the author and maintainer of Byobu.

  • thanks! but still it doesn't work, Alt-left and Alt-right still move word by word. And my vim keybindings do not work. I tried both uppercase and lowercase. – Andrea Zonca Aug 9 '13 at 18:49
  • Hmm, I made the same mistake in my instructions. Try what's above. That's working perfectly for me... – Dustin Kirkland Aug 12 '13 at 14:41
  • tried again with this configuration, also created a new user just to test this, still it does not work. I have byobu version 5.17 tmux 1.6 on 12.04.2 LTS. – Andrea Zonca Aug 12 '13 at 18:21
  • Hmm, can you try updating to the latest Byobu release from the ppa? sudo apt-add-repository ppa:byobu/ppa && sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install -y byobu – Dustin Kirkland Aug 13 '13 at 2:20
  • thanks, updated to: byobu version 5.55 tmux 1.6, but still does not work. tested with no success also on another Ubuntu 12.04.2 LTS. I had to create keybindings.tmux myself, is it possible that it is not actually read? – Andrea Zonca Aug 13 '13 at 6:20

If you cannot manage to disable specific keybindings, you can toggle Byobu's keybindings off/on using Shift+F12 – which is what I use a lot (e.g. to interact with Midnight Commander). I just miss a possibility to have the current status of that displayed in the status bar (are keybindings currently active – or have I turned them off?) – but that's a different issue ;)

  • thank you for the shortcut, and I totally agree with you regarding the latter case – user359096 Feb 18 '17 at 10:46
  • Thank you for this! I've accidentally disabled those and this is what re-enabled them. – meridius Oct 1 '19 at 14:52

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