Change to iTerm2 and tmux

Thanks to @vgoklani for suggesting that I try iTerm2 and tmux. iTerm2 is a replacement for the OSX Terminal program and tmux is an alternative to the ‘screen’ command.

This is how I set them up on my Macbook Pro and on the remote Debian Squeeze computer I’m using:

On Debian Squeeze:

The version installed by using

doesn’t work with iTerm2 on mac – it needs the special iTerm2 version (although it seems like it will be merged into the main tmux development in the future).

So instead do this:

To get it to work, I also had to do this:

On Mac OS X

Download and install
(can use same command line steps as on debian)

I think the same tmux-for-iTerm2 steps as on debian would probably work but I downloaded and installed the one that said it was for OS X 10.7.2 instead (tmux-for-iTerm2-20120203-precompiled.tar.gz). I still used configure and make to build and install it.

Finally install iTerm2 itself:

Useful Links


tmux seems very useful for interactive sessions, especially with the integration into iTerm2. But I’m not sure what I’d gain by changing (see yesterdays post) to use tmux on the remote server? I also couldn’t work out how to do it. Any suggestions?

  1. Hi, this post helped me a lot.


  2. Instructions missing a step to untar that libevent download before cd’ing into it.

  3. Thanks Justin! I’ve added that to the instructions, even thought this isn’t the best approach anymore. The iTerm2 support is now built into tmux version 1.8(? maybe 1.7) and above, I’m now using tmux 1.9a installed through home-brew.

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