I installed tmux locally (without root priviledges). I also created my .tmux.conf file in my home directory with the following lines:

unbind-key C-b
set -g prefix C-o
bind-key C-o send-prefix

However, tmux does not seem to be sourcing this file (my bind key is still C-b). I have tried closing and re-opening my ssh session (this is on a remote machine) with no success.

What could be hapenning?

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    tmux is not ssh. You need to restart tmux, or manually source the conf file yourself. Restarting an ssh session won't do anything. – jw013 Mar 1 '13 at 22:22

It's most likely that you haven't started a new tmux server process. You say that you've closed your ssh session and started a new one, but that wouldn't have any effect on the tmux server; one of the main benefits to using tmux is that sessions can survive that type of activity.

Try running tmux ls to check if the server is still running. If it isn't it should complain about that.

If you instead get a list of sessions, attach to each of those in turn and close them. The tmux server process will die when the last session is closed. Then the next time that you start a new session a new server process will be created and it will read the tmux.conf file.

If you don't want to close the existing sessions you can ask the tmux server to read the configuration file with tmux source ~/.tmux.conf.

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Use tmux kill-server, after that start a new tmux session.

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  • you save my day! – zx1986 Jul 20 '15 at 2:11
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    But please note that you will lose all open sessions / tab after killing the server. – Afshin Mehrabani May 8 '17 at 10:36

This can also be done from within tmux, by pressing Ctrl+B (prefix key) and then : to bring up a command prompt, and typing:

:source-file ~/.tmux.conf

Read http://blog.sanctum.geek.nz/reloading-tmux-config/

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You need to restart the tmux process do it: ps -axxx | grep tmux kill -9 #process

now start tmux and your .tmux.conf will work

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  • 2
    Restarting the tmux sessions is exactly what the existing, accepted answer already says to do, though. As you can see from the downvote that's already on the answer, the site's purpose is to collect distinct answers; please make sure yours are different from existing answers. Thanks, and welcome to U&L! – Jeff Schaller Nov 25 '18 at 21:51

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