My terminal multiplexers

Both screen and tmux are terminal multiplexers that allow you to manage multiple terminal sessions within a single terminal window. They are particularly useful for long-running processes, remote server management, and multitasking in the terminal. Below is a comprehensive analysis of the two, covering their features, usability, performance, and other relevant factors.



  1. Session Management: Allows you to detach and reattach sessions.

  2. Window Splitting: Basic horizontal splitting.

  3. Customization: Limited customization options.

  4. Scripting: Limited scripting capabilities.

  5. Clipboard: Basic copy-paste functionality.


  1. Session Management: More advanced session handling with named sessions.

  2. Window Splitting: Advanced pane splitting both horizontally and vertically.

  3. Customization: Highly customizable through a configuration file.

  4. Scripting: More robust scripting capabilities.

  5. Clipboard: Advanced copy-paste with pane-specific clipboards.



  • Learning Curve: Easier to get started with.

  • Configuration: Less intimidating for beginners.

  • User Interface: More straightforward but less visually appealing.


  • Learning Curve: Steeper, especially for advanced features.

  • Configuration: Requires more initial setup but offers greater control.

  • User Interface: More modern and visually appealing, especially with status bars and pane indicators.


Both screen and tmux are quite lightweight and should not have a significant impact on system resources. However, tmux might consume slightly more memory when using advanced features like pane splitting.

Other Factors


  • Maturity: Older and therefore more tested in various environments.

  • Compatibility: Better compatibility with older systems.


  • Community Support: More active community and therefore more plugins and third-party tools.

  • Future-Proof: More frequent updates and feature additions.

Advantages and Disadvantages


  • Advantages: Easier to use, better compatibility, mature.

  • Disadvantages: Less feature-rich, limited customization.


  • Advantages: Highly customizable, robust features, active community.

  • Disadvantages: Steeper learning curve, requires more initial setup.


If you're new to terminal multiplexing or need something that just works out of the box, screen might be the better option for you. However, if you require advanced features, high customizability, and are willing to invest time in learning and setup, then tmux would be more suitable.

I hope this in-depth analysis helps you make an informed decision on which terminal multiplexer to use.