I want to do tabbed terminal stuff without having actual tab windows in my terminal application.

Is there any good way to do this within bash? It would come in very handy with SSH if I could avoid signing in twice.


Well, not bash per se, but at the console, you can use either screen or tmux. There's a question over at superuser with a nice answer for configuring screen to have a tab-like status bar: How do I use tabs with the Linux “Screen” program?, and you can do a similar thing with tmux.

Both programs can also split the terminal window into multiple independent sections; horizontal in all versions, and vertical split for tmux and not-yet-released version 4.1 of screen (available in Fedora 19, for example).

  • 1
    “Newer versions of screen”? Isn’t screen development for all intents and purposes abandoned? Last I looked the vertical split was only supported in a fork, and the recommendation I got was “use tmux, abandon screen”. – Konrad Rudolph Aug 21 '13 at 7:01
  • Yes and I heard tmux now has features not present in screen. Maybe no vertical split windows (horizontal only)? Not totally sure. – Michael Durrant Aug 21 '13 at 17:31
  • Looks like Fedora has a git snapshot of 4.1 prerelease; that does include vertical split (and I checked that Fedora isn't just patching it in). – mattdm Aug 21 '13 at 18:32

I'm using:

  • separate multiple windows with some version of switcher (alt-tab for me on Ubuntu). ss#1
  • tmux for split windows, a handy tool! ss#2
  • tabs (not your thing but I'm being inclusive for others) ss#3
  • multiple file tabs in vim You get this by doing <esc> to go to command mode if necessary and then : tabe filename. You can then switch tabs with gt and gT (again in command mode) ss#4
  • vim edit history via ctrl-o. This is another amazing one I recently discovered. Edit several files in succession and then, while editing a file, save any changes and then you can use ctrl-o to go back through your history of edited files (i.e. actually opens them up in your current vim editor) even if they are in different directories. Very useful shortcut!

    Can't show much on the screenshot for this one unfortunately. ss#5

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