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I'm trying to change the tmux colors on a computer I haven't visited in a while. In tmux man page I read that tmux will look for a /etc/tmux.conf and, if not found, would go to ~/.tmux.conf. Since the /etc one does not exist, I wrote this line on my ~/.tmux.conf:

set -g status-bg red

And the bar is still green. From then on, I tried a few variations of that command and how to spell the color name, all to no avail. Even tried specifying the conf with a tmux -2 -f .tmux.conf, also nothing.

Am I missing something obvious here? Thanks.

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That should be correct. Are you sure you restarted tmux (and not just detached and reattached), or reloaded the configuration from inside tmux? ctrl-b + : + source ~/.tmux.conf

Also, does tmux report any syntax errors in your configuration upon startup?

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