I am using tmux. I am starting it via tmux -2 the -2 enables 256 color support. Instead of starting it with -2 I would like to change my .tmux.conf file to do that for me.

What do I have to put in my .tmux.conf file that is equivalent to tmux -2? The Arch Documentation suggest:

set -g default-terminal "screen-256color"

This however doesn't seem to have any effect whatsoever.

1 Answer 1


I think the tmux.conf file shouldn’t literally read: set -g default-terminal "screen-256color" but something like:

set -g xterm "screen-256color"

you can check your $TERM variable to see what your system has as the default shell.

echo $TERM

then put that in the place of "default-terminal" you may be able to use the $TERM variable in the conf file, but I'm not certain about that.

if that still doesnt work, you could write an alaias for tmux, as:

alias tmux='tmux -2'

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