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I like to keep my bash_profile in a git repository and clone it to whatever machines I have shell access to. Since I'm in tmux most of the time I have a user@host string in the status line, rather than its traditional spot in the shell prompt.

Not all sites I use have tmux installed, though, or I may not always be using it. I'd like to detect when I'm not in a tmux session and adjust my prompt accordingly. So far my half-baked solution in .bash_profile looks something like this:

_display_host_unless_in_tmux_session() {
    # ???
export PROMPT_COMMAND='PS1=$(_display_host_unless_in_tmux_session)${REST_OF_PROMPT}'

(Checking every time probably isn't the best approach, so I'm open to suggestions for a better way of doing this. Bash scripting is not my forte.)

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up vote 42 down vote accepted

Tmux sets the TMUX environment variable in tmux sessions, and sets TERM to screen. This isn't a 100% reliable indicator (for example, you can't easily tell if you're running screen inside tmux or tmux inside screen), but it should be good enough in practice.

if ! { [ "$TERM" = "screen" ] && [ -n "$TMUX" ]; } then

If you need to integrate that in a complex prompt set via PROMPT_COMMAND (which is a bash setting, by the way, so shouldn't be exported):

if [ "$TERM" = "screen" ] && [ -n "$TMUX" ]; then

If you ever need to test whether tmux is installed:

if type tmux >/dev/null 2>/dev/null; then
  # you can start tmux if you want

By the way, this should all go into ~/.bashrc, not ~/.bash_profile (see Difference between .bashrc and .bash_profile). ~/.bashrc is run in every bash instance and contains shell customizations such as prompts and aliases. ~/.bash_profile is run when you log in (if your login shell is bash). Oddly, bash doesn't read ~/.bashrc in login shells, so your ~/.bash_profile should contain

case $- in *i*) . ~/.bashrc;; esac
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There is an alternative variable TMUX_PANE as well. I only noticed because your recipe didn't work. Later I found out that I had unduly used (and subsequently unset) a variable in a shell script I am sourcing through my .profile. – 0xC0000022L Jun 2 '14 at 23:23

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