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In my tmux.conf, I need to start a session with the name of the current user in capitals (this is actually a simplification but it will do as an example).

Imagine a fictitious line like this one, which is illegal:

new-session -n BananaWindow -s "$(echo "${USER}" | tr '[:lower:]' '[:upper:]')" 'bash -l'

How can I achieve what is intended above?

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I keep my config files in a common git repo and have been looking for a way to change tmux's behaviour based on an if $HOSTNAME… statement of some kind, so I'd be interested in an answer to this, too. –  Iain Dawson Oct 5 '12 at 11:34

1 Answer 1

In my experience, any effective recipe to get a .tmux.conf to execute multiple commands conditionally that doesn't rely on every statement being wrapped in an if-shell makes use of multiple files and the source-file command.

Here is how I do host-based profiles:

# Use `run-shell` to resolve arbitrary shell commands, and set-environment to
# make them available to tmux.
#
# Note that any variables set with `set-environment` are not available later in
# the same conf file, but will be available interactively once the conf file
# has loaded--and also in any sourced conf files.
run-shell "tmux set-environment -g TMUX_PROFILE $(hostname)"

# Here we're just defining a variable to reduce duplication later...
set-environment -g TMUX_PROFILE_PATH "${HOME}/.tmux/profiles/${TMUX_PROFILE}.tmux"

# The file that contains the instruction to source the proper conf file.  We
# have to put the command contained in this file in a separate file because of
# that `set-environment` issue.
source-file "${HOME}/.tmux/profiles/select-profile.tmux"

Contents of ${HOME}/.tmux/profiles/select-profile.tmux:

if-shell "test -f ${TMUX_PROFILE_PATH}" 'source-file ${TMUX_PROFILE_PATH}' 'display-message "profile not found: ${TMUX_PROFILE_PATH}"'

Now you just need to put host-specific configurations into ${HOME}/.tmux/profiles/, and they'll get loaded automatically.


You could use a similar technique for a named session.

run-shell "tmux set-environment -g SESSION_NAME $(echo "${USER}" | tr '[:lower:]' '[:upper:]')"
source-file "${HOME}/.tmux/functions/named-session.tmux"

Contents of ${HOME}/.tmux/functions/named-session.tmux:

new-session -n BananaWindow -s "${SESSION_NAME}" 'bash -l'
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