In Tmux, how do I assign a particular program to a particular window, so that all calls to that program from a shell in another window in Tmux will go to that program? One example would be a window that just keeps Vim open.

So in this example, whenever I type vim myfile.txt in my shell window in Tmux, I will see myfile.txt in the vim window of Tmux.

1 Answer 1


There's no universal way to do this, since each program handles this differently, but vim has a client-server mode that might satisfy your needs in this particular instance.

Firstly, start vim in server mode:

vim --servername foo

Now you can open files in that instance of vim from elsewhere:

vim --servername foo --remote-tab file

This requires having a vim version compiled with +clientserver. On Debian, the vim-gnome package contains a version of vim with client-server functionality. Some other distributions have similar packages.

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