I am trying to bind X to do the following:

  • prompt the user whether the session should be killed
  • if y is entered, kill the session
  • after the session is killed select another session (last, previous, or next session)

Some similar commands that aren't quite right

  1. Kill the session and close the terminal:

    bind X confirm-before -p "Kill #S (y/n)?" kill-session
  2. Prompt the user for the name of the session to kill and select next session after kill:

    bind X command-prompt -p "kill:"  "switch-client -n \; kill-session -t '%%'"
  3. I haven't been able to find examples of similar commands. Here's a solution something that doesn't work:

    bind X confirm-before -p "Kill #S (y/n)?" "SESSION='#S' \; \
    switch-client -n \; kill-session -t \"$SESSION\""

I think this is close to what you want:

bind-key X confirm-before -p "Kill #S (y/n)?" "run-shell 'tmux switch-client -n \\\; kill-session -t \"\$(tmux display-message -p \"#S\")\"'"

Your #3 approach is along the right lines, but the problem is that confirm-before does not do status-left-style substitutions (e.g. #S) in its command string.

A caveat for the above binding is that since everything is done in from run-shell, the commands are run outside the context of any particular client or session. It really only works because the “default” client (for switch-client) and “default” session (for #S in display-message -p) are the most recently active ones. This works out as you would expect as long as you only have a single active client (e.g. a single user that does not type into another tmux client until after the shell commands have finished running); it could fail dramatically if (e.g.) you trigger the binding in tmux client A, but new input is received by tmux client B before the shell started by run-shell has had a chance to run its commands.

This particular race condition seems like a nice motivation for providing client/session/window/pane information to run-shell commands. There is a TODO entry about getting if-shell and run-shell to support (optional?) status_replace() (i.e. status-left-style substitutions), though maybe a better choice would be format_expand(), which is kind of a newer super-set of status_replace (offers #{client_tty}, etc.).

  • This seems to do exactly what I was looking for. I had tried a similar method after finding the tmux display-message -p "#S" trick in another answer. It seems like wrapping everything in run-shell was the key. Thanks! – Trey Hunner Dec 16 '12 at 9:57
  • How do you do this without confirm-before? I'm having trouble getting the escaping right. – Miles Jul 16 '15 at 8:11
  • 2
    @Miles: Try this one: bind-key X run-shell 'tmux switch-client -n \; kill-session -t "#S"' (tmux 1.8+ run-shell expands #S directly, so we get to omit the display-message and its extra quoting) – Chris Johnsen Jul 16 '15 at 19:01

Just in case if someone stumbles upon this question - tmux-sessionist provides this functionality along with many others.


There is another question which asks a similar question but it is slightly different.

If you want the standard choose-session behaviour with the additional feature that kills the original session if no other clients remain attached to it then that question may also be of interest.

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