How to create a new window on the current directory in tmux?

Is is possible to open a new-window with its working directory set to the one I am currently in. I am using zsh, if it matters.

Asked By: sharat87

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Starting in tmux 1.9 the default-path option was removed, so you need to use the -c option with new-window, and split-window (e.g. by rebinding the c, ", and % bindings to include
-c '#{pane_current_path}'). See some of the other answers to this question for details.


A relevant feature landed in the tmux SVN trunk in early February 2012. In tmux builds that include this code, tmux key bindings that invoke new-window will create new a window with the same current working directory as the current pane’s active processes (as long as the default-path session option is empty; it is by default). The same is true for the pane created by the split-window command when it is invoked via a binding.

This uses special platform-specific code, so only certain OSes are supported at this time: Darwin (OS X), FreeBSD, Linux, OpenBSD, and Solaris.

This should be available in the next release of tmux (1.7?).


With tmux 1.4, I usually just use

tmux neww

in a shell that already has the desired current working directory.

If, however, I anticipate needing to create many windows with the same current working directory (or I want to be able to start them with the usual <prefix>c key binding), then I set the default-path session option via

tmux set-option default-path "$PWD"

in a shell that already has the desired current working directory (though you could obviously do it from any directory and just specify the value instead).

If default-path is set to a non-empty value, its value will be used instead of “inheriting” the current working directory from command-line invocations of tmux neww.

The tmux FAQ has an entry titled “How can I open a new window in the same directory as the current window?” that describes another approach; it is a bit convoluted though.

Answered By: Chris Johnsen

With recent versions of tmux (v1.8, but maybe in v1.7 too):

tmux new-window -c "$PWD"
Answered By: mislav

The other answers does not work for me when I try put them as bindings (specifically tmux split-window -c). But I’ve made up my own solution that I’ve been using for more than a year that works for both new-window and splits:

~/.bashrc:

PS1="$PS1"'$([ -n "$TMUX" ] && tmux setenv TMUXPWD_$(tmux display -p "#D" | tr -d %) "$PWD")'

~/.tmux.conf:

unbind-key c
bind-key c run-shell 'tmux new-window "cd "$(tmux show-environment $(echo "TMUXPWD_#D" | tr -d %) | sed -e "s/^.*=//")"; exec $SHELL"'
bind-key C new-window

bind-key - run-shell 'tmux split-window -v "cd "$(tmux show-environment $(echo "TMUXPWD_#D" | tr -d %) | sed -e "s/^.*=//")"; exec $SHELL"'
bind-key | run-shell 'tmux split-window -h "cd "$(tmux show-environment $(echo "TMUXPWD_#D" | tr -d %) | sed -e "s/^.*=//")"; exec $SHELL"

Works, at least, with $(tmux -V) 1.8. See out-commented lines here for a version working for older tmuxes that don’t have the show-environment command.

Answered By: Erikw

Use new-window -c "#{pane_current_path}".

You can add the following to your ~/.tmux.conf to make it persistent (assumming default keybindings):

bind  c  new-window      -c "#{pane_current_path}"
bind  %  split-window -h -c "#{pane_current_path}"
bind '"' split-window -v -c "#{pane_current_path}"

The default-path setting was removed from 1.9 (released on Feb 2014). In the change, the author recommended using either -c "#{pane_current_path}" or -c "$PWD in the new-window and split-window commands.

Also answered in this duplicate question.

Answered By: mmoya

The current (1.9a) Tmux man page lists an optional -c start-directory parameter for some commands, including new-window and split-window.
It also contains the format variable pane_current_path, which refers to the
Current path if available.

By combining these, we can open a new window with the current working directory using
new-window -c "#{pane_current_path}"
The quotation are needed in case the current path contains spaces.

If you want to split the current pane vertically, use
split-window -c "#{pane_current_path}"
or, for a horizontal split
split-window -h -c "#{pane_current_path}"

To make the key bindings open new splits and windows with the current working directory by default, add the following to your .tmux.conf. The " with surrounding quotes is to tell Tmux it shouldn’t start a string but rather bind the " key.

bind '"' split-window -c "#{pane_current_path}"
bind % split-window -h -c "#{pane_current_path}"
bind c new-window -c "#{pane_current_path}"
Answered By: Simon Kohlmeyer

tmux did that in version 1.8 but in 1.9 this feature was removed in favor of using -c flag.

This can be solved but re-binding new-window but in case you want to run something else it becomes too wordy: instead of typing neww man tmux you’ll have to type neww -c "#{pane_current_path}" man tmux which you most probably don’t want to do.

There’s a mod of tmux (I’m the author) to add a proper scripting language to tmux to allow using aliases, binding multiple commands in ‘mode’, variables, loops, etc…
And also, it brings back the that behavior: new windows and panes are opened in the current directory.

It can be built from sources here: http://ershov.github.io/tmux/

Answered By: Yuriy Ershov
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