I've just started using tmux recently, and have run into this problem a few times.

Whatever I type on the command line, is hidden from view until I press enter and it is executed. I don't know how I triggered this and can't find any mention of 'hidden input' in the manual. I've tried setw -g monitor-activity on, and set -g visual-activity on , but it seems these are meant for something else.

To be clear, I can run a program or command if it's typed correctly -- e.g. python manage.py runserver works, but while I am typing it -- no keys show up. It's the same as when you are entering a password for PostgreSQL or similar. The commands do show up in history and can be seen after the command is executed (above the current line).

  • What is your $TERM inside tmux? It has to be a screen-* variant... See the tmux FAQ.
    – jasonwryan
    Sep 11, 2013 at 2:43
  • It's showing up as screen. FYI this is in a virtualbox (vagrant) on Mountain Lion. Ubuntu 12.04. Surprisingly, I was just demonstrating what was happening to a friend, and that I could run programs. When I entered 'CTRL-C' to quit the running program, keyboard entry showed up again. So I'm wondering if it's something bound to that key. I'll read through the FAQ and see if I have something setup wrong.
    – kevins
    Sep 11, 2013 at 2:50
  • 1
    Just an idea, but when I read this I thought, "I wonder if the foreground color is getting set to the same color as the background" which would explain some of the behavior.
    – slm
    Sep 11, 2013 at 4:18

1 Answer 1


It has been a while, but in case you are still interested - executing stty sane helped immediately. See Fix terminal after displaying a binary file

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