I'm trying to make a pretty nice desktop console which can show system logs from /dev/logi . The device displays new content from several files in /var/log . I want to use urxvt and tmux to do so. Everything seems to be working, but I have no idea how to autostart it. I'm using openbox, so I tried adding the following line to /home/morfik/.config/openbox/autostart :

(sleep 2 && urxvt -name 'konsola_desktop' -e sh -c "tmux -c 'cat /dev/logi'") &

This doesn't work as expected. urxvt stars and if something is logged, it is displayed on the console. But one part is missing, there's no tmux. I need it because I set in /home/morfik/.Xresources the following option:

URxvt*saveLines: 0

and I use tmux buffer specified in /etc/tmux.conf :

set -g history-limit 5000

So, if I start the command above, I'm not able to scroll output. I can't even divide screen because tmux isn't there. There's also no tmux process:

ps -eo "%mem args" | grep -i tmux
1.1 urxvt -name konsola_desktop -e sh -c tmux -c 'cat /dev/logi'
0.0 sh -c tmux -c 'cat /dev/logi'

But when I just do the following steps:

urxvt -name 'konsola_desktop'
cat /dev/logi

everything works just fine:

ps -eo "%mem args" | grep -i tmux
0.1 tmux
0.1 tmux

Does anyone know what's going on?

  • The -c option is the problem here: it just acts as a “pass through” to a shell (tmux’s configured default-shell)—this is usually only useful when tmux is configured as a user’s login shell (since other programs might assume the login shell knows how to handle args like -c shell_cmd_str). You probably want to use new-session instead of -c. Dec 15, 2013 at 4:15
  • I defined two sessions in tmux config file, and now I'm using (sleep 2 && urxvt -name 'cdesktop' -e bash -c "tmux attach-session -t logi") &, and everything works as expected. Dec 15, 2013 at 19:42

1 Answer 1


I found a solution.

First off all, it's better to use tmux config file instead of putting a command in the autostart line. So, it would be:

new true
set set-remain-on-exit on
new -n logi "cat /dev/logi"
neww -n test
splitw -v -p 50 -t 0 
neww -n test2
splitw -h -p 50 -t 0
set -u set-remain-on-exit

The above lines should be added to /etc/tmux.conf , and now the line that starts the console should look like this:

(sleep 2 && urxvt -name 'konsola_desktop' -e bash -c "tmux attach") &

It's even better because I can define multiple windows and switch between them.

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