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I would like different panes to appear in different background colors in my tmux session.
Is this possible?

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Good answers already submitted. Note that you can make changes from the command line. The TMUX_PANE variable can identify different panes. Pres s the command key (Ctrl-B), a colon, and type "set -g " as StefanS suggests. e.g., Ctrl-B then ":set -g pane-active-border-bg magenta". Since his example and mine differ, maybe there are differences in tmux. Use "man tmux" and search for "colour". (Yeah, I'm American, but my copy of the man page has a "u" in the word. So search for colour, not color.) – TOOGAM Feb 13 '15 at 6:42

Unfortunately there is no obvious way to do it. I did a bit of research on the matter and what I ended up doing was changing the BASH prompt color instead of the background color. In my case it works well and helps me identify the different panes at a glance. Here are the two most helpful pages that I found on the subject:

Change The Color of My Shell Prompt

Cnange shell background color on ssh

I hope this helps you on your quest for knowledge :-)

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Maybe you can change your colors in your ~/.tmux.conf. You could specify colours like so:

# border colours

 set -g pane-border-style fg=magenta
 set -g pane-active-border-style fg=magenta 
 set -g pane-active-border-style bg=default
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