Byobu keyboard shortcut not working


Byobu has support for a long list of keyboard shortcuts. The full list of keybindings can be found listed in /usr/share/byobu/keybindings/f-keys.tmux. However, you may find that one or more of those do not work. For example, I found that pressing Shift+F1 to view help and pressing Ctrl+F2 to do a horizontal split did not work.


There are many reasons why Byobu is not receiving or failing on executing the hotkey you are pressing.

One possibility is that your desktop environment, window manager or terminal program is already using that keyboard shortcut. You will need to disable those keyboard shortcuts for it to work in Byobu. This was how I got Ctrl+F2 working in Byobu.

Here are some places where you can check:

  • XFCE: Check in Keyboard -> Application Shortcuts. Also check in Window Manager -> Keyboard.
  • KDE: Check in Global Keyboard Shortcuts.

Another possibility is that Byobu is receiving the keybinding you pressed, but it is executing a shell command that is failing.

This was the case for Shift-F1 to fail, the culprit was my Fish shell. The command executed by this hotkey can be seen in /usr/share/byobu/keybindings/f-keys.tmux. It is executing a command that will work only in Sh or Bash.

To override this, I created a ~/.byobu/keybindings.tmux, copied the line and edited to add a sh -c prefix to it so that it used the correct shell.

Tried with: Byobu 5.74 and Ubuntu 14.04

2 thoughts on “Byobu keyboard shortcut not working

  1. hey, i added the line
    /usr/share/byobu/keybindings/f-keys.tmux sh -c
    but it doesn’t work. Did I add the correct line? thanks


  2. I wonder why if $BYOBU_BACKEND is tmux on /usr/share/byobu/keybindings/f-keys includes screen instead of tmux: source $BYOBU_PREFIX/share/byobu/keybindings/f-keys.screen


Leave a Reply to toms Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.