I have installed vim-tmux-navigator on the tmux and the vim side and I can navigate between vim panes and tmux windows using Ctrl-[hjkl]

BUT: This means that readline (or bash?) shortcuts are overwritten, e.g. Ctrl-k (delete to end-of-line), which I want to use.

All my attempts to remap keys to require the the tmux-prefix, e.g. Ctrl-b [hjkl] vim-tmux-navigator have failed.

Does anyone have a solution for this?

Note: I am using C-b as an example, for which there is a good solution below. I have been using C-Space wich complicates things a little.


Yes, it's possible to remap the keybindings in order to use <C-b> (your tmux prefix) followed by [hjkl] to change panes, and \ to go to the previous pane.

Note that you need to configure that both in Vim and in tmux.

This is the Vim configuration for those keybindings:

let g:tmux_navigator_no_mappings = 1

nnoremap <silent> <C-b>h :TmuxNavigateLeft<cr>
nnoremap <silent> <C-b>j :TmuxNavigateDown<cr>
nnoremap <silent> <C-b>k :TmuxNavigateUp<cr>
nnoremap <silent> <C-b>l :TmuxNavigateRight<cr>
nnoremap <silent> <C-b>\ :TmuxNavigatePrevious<cr>

Add those lines to your .vimrc.

And in your .tmux.conf, use the snippet (not the TPM) to configure it, then change the main bindings to:

bind-key h if-shell "$is_vim" "send-keys C-b h"  "select-pane -L"
bind-key j if-shell "$is_vim" "send-keys C-b j"  "select-pane -D"
bind-key k if-shell "$is_vim" "send-keys C-b k"  "select-pane -U"
bind-key l if-shell "$is_vim" "send-keys C-b l"  "select-pane -R"
bind-key \ if-shell "$is_vim" "send-keys C-b \\" "select-pane -l"

(In short, remove the C- part, and also the -n which makes them run without a prefix. Then update the send-keys to send the keys Vim is expecting, which are the same ones, with the prefix.)

You might want to update the copy-mode-vi keybindings too, though it's unclear which keys you would like to use there, since there's no "prefix" enabled in that mode... You might want to think about that one.

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  • darn, while my comment does nicely avoid the tmux prefix, it only works in command mode: – Richard Wonka Aug 6 '19 at 8:59
  • @RichardWonka Did this one work for you? I'm not a user of the tmux-navigator myself, but I'd expect it should fix the issue you were having... – filbranden Aug 6 '19 at 13:28
  • It almost does - it does with <C-b> as prefix. I can pass the keys back and forth between vim and tmux. but, I've been using <C-Space> as a prefix, which is very convenient - and it appears that passing <C-Space> isn't as intuitive as passing <C-b> .. so I am now looking at either finding out how to pass that particular prefix or changing my prefix, which would be a bummer. – Richard Wonka Aug 7 '19 at 6:17
  • I'd expect C-space to work in tmux (i.e. "send-keys C-space h") and <C-Space> to work in vim... Sometimes <C-Space> doesn't work directly in Vim terminal, so additionally to the 5 directional mappings, also add nmap <C-@> <C-Space> which will make the others work, when your Ctrl+Space appears to Vim as <C-@> instead. I hope that helps! – filbranden Aug 7 '19 at 6:31
  • 1
    Yeah, <C-w> is a great choice! Glad you found a setup that works well for you. – filbranden Aug 7 '19 at 6:47

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