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?

2 Answers 2


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. Aug 9, 2013 at 18:49
  • Hmm, I made the same mistake in my instructions. Try what's above. That's working perfectly for me... Aug 12, 2013 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. Aug 12, 2013 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 Aug 13, 2013 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? Aug 13, 2013 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, 2017 at 10:46
  • Thank you for this! I've accidentally disabled those and this is what re-enabled them.
    – meridius
    Oct 1, 2019 at 14:52

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.