Install byobu

Table of Contents

1 byobu

The byobu is a frontend tool for GNU screen and tmux. GNU screen and tmux can be used easily by byobu.

Using tmux as a backend is as below.


Using GNU screen as a backend is as below.


byobu will display CPU and memory usage easily.

2 Install byobu

Install byobu from default repository except CentOS.

2.1 Ubuntu 16.04 / Debian 8

Install byobu with apt.

$ sudo apt-get install -y byobu

2.2 Fedora 23

Install byobu with dnf.

$ sudo dnf install -y byobu

2.3 CentOS 7

Install byobu from epel-release repository or build Fedora 22’s src.rpm. Building Fedora 22’s src.rpm is as below.

$ sudo yum install -y rpmdevtools gettext desktop-file-utils automake tmux$ FEDORA=$ wget ${FEDORA}/22/Everything/source/SRPMS/b/byobu-5.92-1.fc22.src.rpm$ rpmbuild –rebuild byobu-5.92-1.fc22.src.rpm$ sudo yum localinstall -y ~/rpmbuild/RPMS/noarch/byobu-*.rpm

2.4 ArchLinux

Download AUR source code.

$ git clone cd byobu

Read PKGBUILD file for installing dependent packages.


Install packages for building.

$ sudo pacman -S –asdeps –noconfirm ${makedepends[@]}

Install packages for running.

$ sudo pacman -S –noconfirm ${depends[@]}

Build and install package.

$ makepkg$ sudo pacman -U –noconfirm byobu-*.pkg.tar.xz

2.5 OpenSUSE

Use ubuntu’s source code. Install screen if you need.

sudo zypper -n in tmuxLAUNCHPAD=https://launchpad.netwget -q ${LAUNCHPAD}/byobu/trunk/5.112/+download/byobu_5.112.orig.tar.gztar zxf byobu_5.112.orig.tar.gzcd byobu-5.112./configure && make && sudo make install

3 byobu usage

This article describe configuration and usage of byobu.

3.1 Run byobu

Run byobu with byobu command. If byobu session is already running, byobu command will attach it.

$ byobu

If you need to run other byobu session, please use -S option.

$ byobu -S <session-name>

3.2 byobu default prompt

byobu has a default prompt.


default prompt is ON by byobu-enable-prompt command and OFF by byobu-disable-prompt command. byobu-prompt command provides an interactive guide for ON/OFF.

Setting of byobu default prompt is written to ${HOME}/.bashrc.

[ -r /home/hiroom2/.byobu/prompt ] && . /home/hiroom2/.byobu/prompt #byobu-prompt#

3.3 Select backend.

Run byobu with GNU screen by byobu-screen command and with tmux by byobu-tmux. byobu-select-backend provides interactive guide for selection.

Setting of backend is written to ${HOME}/.byobu/backend.

$ cat ~/.byobu/backendBYOBU_BACKEND=tmux

3.4 Change escape key

byobu’s default escape key is function key or C-a. In case of C-a is as below.

$ cat ~/.byobu/keybindingssource $BYOBU_PREFIX/share/byobu/keybindings/commonbindkey “^A”escape “^Aa”register x “^A”

In case of tmux, change escape key as below.

$ cat ~/.byobu/keybindings.tmuxset -g prefix C-uunbind-key -n C-a

In case of GNU screen, change escape key as below.

$ cat ~/.byobu/.screenrcescape ^Uu

3.5 keybinding with escape key

When setting escape key as C-u, keyb
indings are as below.

C-u c Create new window C-u C-p Focus to prev window C-u C-n Focus to next window C-u <number> Focus to <number> window C-u d Detach screen C-u C-u Focus to last window

tmux needs below setting for C-u C-u.

$ cat ~/.byobu/.tmux.confbind C-j run “tmux last-window || true”

3.6 Change byobu config directory

byobu uses ${HOME}/.byobu directory by default.

$ byobu # ${HOME}/.byobu is used.

Change it with BYOBU_CONFIG_DIR variable.

$ BYOBU_CONFIG_DIR=${HOME}/.mybyobu byobu

3.7 status

byobu provides information on status like CPU and memory usage. This is implemented by scripts in ${BYOBU_PREFIX}/lib/byobu.

$ ls ${BYOBU_PREFIX}/lib/byobu/ # Running on byobuapport custom fan_speed memory release trasharch date hostname menu services updates_availablebattery disk include network session uptimecolor disk_io ip_address processes swap userscpu_count distro load_average raid time whoamicpu_freq ec2_cost logo rcs_cost time_binary wifi_qualitycpu_temp entropy mail reboot_required time_utc

Set these scripts to tmux_right or screen_lower_right in ${HOME}/.byobu/status, information on status will be changed. screen_xxx always needs color.

$ cat ~/.byobu/status# Screen has two status lines, with 4 quadrants for statusscreen_upper_left=”color”screen_upper_right=”color”screen_lower_left=”color”screen_lower_right=”color load_average memory disk time”# Tmux has one status line, with 2 halves for statustmux_left=tmux_right=”load_average memory disk time”

In case of tmux is as below.


tmux can modify interval of redrawing status.

$ cat ~/.byobu/.tmux.confset -g status-interval 15 # default 15 (seconds)

GNU screen only redraw on screen_lower_right except time scripts.

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