Summer is a great period to find ways to improve your workflow a bit. One great little tool in this category is Byobu from Dustin Kirkland, it’s a light, text-based window manager which allow you to detach/reattach to session and quickly create and move between different windows over a single SSH connection. It improve on the idea of previous tools like Tmux or GNU Screen but with a simpler approach.



# apt-get install byoby


# yaourt -Si byobu

OpenSUSE Factory

# zypper addrepo
# zypper refresh
# zypper install byobu


# yum install byobu


# brew install byobu

Consult the offical documentation for other ways or to install it from source.

Now to enable Byobu at login

$ byobu-enable

Later on if you don’t like it any more you can always deactivate it with

$ byobu-disable

Key bindings cheatsheet

Most what you need to know about Byobu is in cheatsheet below

hotkey action
F2 create a new window
F3/F4 move focus among window
F6 Detach session and logout
F8 Rename window

That’s almost it. But if you are curious here are below keybindings related to splitted windows

hotkey action
CTRL/SHIFT-F2 Create a vertical/horizontal split
SHIFT-F3/F4 move focus among splits
CTRL-F3/F4 move splits around
SHIFT-Left/Right/Up/Down move focus among splits
CTRL-F6 kill split in focus

I kept for the end the hotkeys that are rarely used

hotkey action
SHIFT-F5 Toggle between different status bar
CTRL-SHIFT-F5 Change background color of the status line
ALT-F12 Activate mouse support

You’ll find all the other keybindings by accessing the help menu behind F9 or Shift-F1.

I hope you’ll enjoy Byobu as much as I do.