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

  • 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
  • 1

You can set any pane's style using the select-pane -P command. You can combine this with other select-pane options for example

select-pane -t:.1 -P 'bg=red'

would set the first pane's background as red.

select-pane -P 'bg=red'

would set the current pane's background to red.


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 :-)

  • Synopsizing the content of those linked documents would make this a much better answer. – music2myear Feb 22 '17 at 19:45

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

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.