We have a tmux session that several people need to connect to. Some people like the Ctrl+a prefix shortcut and some people prefer the default Ctrl+b shortcut. Is there anything I can put in the .tmux.conf file to allow both shortcuts to work?

It seems that the standard

set -g prefix C-a

command will unset the Ctrl+b shortcut.

I have also tried this:

set -g prefix C-a
set -g prefix C-b

but the second line then unsets the Ctrl+a

2 Answers 2


angus’s answer is correct for tmux 1.5 and earlier.

However, this has changed in tmux 1.6.  Now, there are two options, prefix, and prefix2, each of which can only be set to a single value, like this:

set-option -g prefix C-a
set-option -g prefix2 C-b
  • 3
    If you need to send the secondary prefix key to a window, you can use the -2 option of send-prefix (for the example given in the answer, send-prefix -2 would send C-b to the window). Commented Oct 3, 2012 at 17:06

For releases prior to 2012: Issue the command only once, with all the desired prefix keys separated by commas:

set-option -g prefix C-a,C-b

For versions >= 1.6 (Released the day before your question, 23/01/2012) see the other answer.


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