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How do I run a shell command from .tmux.conf, or otherwise automatically when tmux launches, without having to hit any other command?

How can I create an alias, a function, or a script which boils down to, for example

tmuxirc -> tmux + irssi

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See also unix.stackexchange.com/questions/61386/… – jasonwryan Jun 24 '13 at 7:18
up vote 6 down vote accepted

It sounds like you want to externally invoke tmux from your shell rather than doing this from within tmux, so .tmux.conf is the wrong place. You can use a shell alias (place this in your .bashrc for reuse):

alias tmuxirc='tmux new-session -s irc irssi'
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I use zsh, but otherwise 100% correct. – Emanuel Berg Jun 24 '13 at 19:22

While it doesn't seem to be what you were looking for, the solution to:

How do I run a shell command from .tmux.conf

is run-shell, or, in its abbreviated form, run. From the tmux man page:

run-shell shell-command
               (alias: run)
         Execute shell-command in the background without creating a win-
         dow.  After it finishes, any output to stdout is displayed in
         copy mode.  If the command doesn't return success, the exit sta-
         tus is also displayed.

If you need to silently kick off a script in the background whenever you launch tmux, you could use run "command > /dev/null".

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I do something similar with a script. When I want to fire up tmux with my development configuration I call it. The script itself looks like the following:

tmux has-session -t development
if [ $? != 0 ]; then
    tmux new-session -s development -n editor -d
    tmux send-keys -t development 'cd /var/www/htdocs/' C-m
    tmux send-keys -t development 'vim' C-m
    tmux split-window -v -t development
    tmux split-window -v -t development
    tmux select-layout -t development main-horizontal
    tmux send-keys -t development:0.1 'cd /var/www/htdocs/' C-m
    tmux new-window -n console -t development
    tmux send-keys -t development:1 'cd /var/www/htdocs/' C-m
    tmux select-window -t development:0
tmux attach -t development

What this gives me is a tmux session with 2 windows, window 1 has a Vim session in the top of the screen, with two terminals in the bottom 3rd or so of the screen, all pointed at my /var/www/htdocs/ directory. Window 2 is just a full screen console. Good thing about this is that it won't recreate the session if it's already there, it will just attach to it.

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You might want to look at tmuxinator. – Chris Down Jun 25 '13 at 3:14

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