Setting Default Byobu screens


Solution 1

As @Jorge Castro mentioned in a comment, the reason your ~/.byobu/windows configuration isn't working is because byobu is now based on tmux (the "Terminal Multiplexer"). As mentioned by @Hai Vu, there is a workaround that allows you to use screen as byobu's backend, but it isn't overly complicated to switch to tmux.

You'll want to edit the .tmux.conf file located in your user's .byobu folder (~/.byobu/.tmux.conf). Here you will want to write commands to construct your terminal windows using the commands found in the tmux manual. Here is a simple example that can help get you started:

new-window -ad -n Git
new-window -ad -n "Project Build/Run"
new-window -ad -n PostgreSQL

Here I have inserted three commands into the .tmux.conf file. As defined by the manual:

The configuration file is a set of tmux commands which are executed in sequence when the server is first started.

So in this case, when you start Byobu, you should see three pre-created windows with the titles "Git", "Projected Build/Run", and "PostgreSQL" (from left to right). Hope this helps.

Solution 2

I found that if you run


and choose screen, then it works. Selecting tmux as backend does not work. I am still trying to find out how to create windows with tmux backend. If I know how, I'll update this post.


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Updated on September 18, 2022


  • sheepeatingtaz
    sheepeatingtaz 4 months

    I've just installed Quantal as a fresh install, and want to set up Byobu as it was on my old system. In a previous version of byobu there was an option in byobu-config (via the F9 key) to create new windows which had a checkbox option to select if it was a startup option. The whole 'create new window' section of byobu-config is not there anymore!

    I've tried adding the details of the windows I want to ~/.byobu/windows (below) but this has had no effect.

    screen -t localhost bash
    screen -t staging ssh dt123
    screen -t fsuk1 ssh fs
    screen -t php php -a
    screen -t python bpython
    • Admin
      Admin about 10 years
      (Not enough but an answer but byobu is now based on tmux, not screen, that might be why it doesn't work)
  • Csabi Vidó
    Csabi Vidó over 7 years
    There was a bug in older versions of Byobu up to 5.85 and you need to chain commands with a semicolon, see my answer on SU.
  • Pablo Bianchi
    Pablo Bianchi almost 6 years
    apropos byobu for more useful commands. tmux now is the default backend. BTW F2 creates a new window, Shift+F1 for help.