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I've searched through the man pages several times for a way to set the length of time that status bar messages (what you see if you enter display-message "hello world" at a tmux command prompt) are visible, but there seems to be nothing. Does anyone know a way I can make them stay long enough to be read. Particularly annoying are error messages I get after entering a command with some syntax error. I have to repeat the command 3 or more times just to be able to get some idea what it says.

Does anyone know how to fix this? (Preferably without changing the source code and recompiling ;)

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up vote 12 down vote accepted

It sounds like you want to change the display-time session option. The initial default value is 750 milliseconds.

If you want to set a new, default value, then change the “global” value (e.g. in your .tmux.conf):

set-option -g display-time 4000

The global value will be effective for any sessions that have not established their own value (see below).

If you just want to change a single session (e.g. change only the current session, via a Prefix-: command line):

set-option display-time 4000

Of course (like any other tmux command), you can also make the changes from a shell command line:

tmux set-option -g display-time 4000
tmux set-option -t 4 display-time 10000  # set a value just for session "4"
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Thanks! display-time wasn't in the PDF of the man pages I was using (on account of man pages not getting installed locally on my machine for some reason). – iconoclast Jun 11 '11 at 19:41

There is also the show-messages command bound to ~ by default.

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