I am quite new to tmux (but familarized with the basics).

Regularly, I end up in a mode, I do not understand, and I do not know how to leave anymore. This happens sometimes when having multiple panes and trying to zoom by pressing Ctrl-B Z. At least, this is my intention when it happens, I guess I do something wrong, like pressing other keys accidentally.

In this mode, I get an empty screen (which I can type text in), without any tmux commands working. It seems that every control sequence is escaped, pressing Ctrl-B brings up a ^B on the screen, instead of being interpreted as start of a command.

Any idea, what mode this is, which I am regulary locked in?

Additions, as answer for comments: I also did a lot of tests to reproduce this intentionally, but I did not manage to do so.

I am working on CentOS7, and tmux is executed locally. SSH does not need to be involved to make this happen.

My best guess is that I am in a special mode (like scroll/edit mode, maybe some vi-like special mode?) or maybe I am pressing Ctrl-Z instead of Ctrl-B Z. But as I did not manage to reproduce by will, this is just guessing.

  • I tried every combination of CTRL-B <Key> for keys around Z, but I couldn't replicate your issue, what version of Tmux are you using? What distro of Linux? Are you connecting via SSH?
    – Jack
    Nov 23, 2015 at 12:08

1 Answer 1


I'm pretty sure it was the Ctrl-S/Ctrl-Q issue, which are used to turn input off/on in terminals:


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