Integrating terminal into Vim

Hi Josh,

I just started the Test-Driven Rails Workshop and following along the development of the Todo app.

I really like how your terminal is integrated into you Vim editor. How do you manage to type terminal commands, like bundle and git add . etc, … from within your Vim editor ?



I’m pretty sure he’s using tmux… well, I’m just guessing, but you can do a lot of great things just like that with tmux. I just recently set up and started using tmux and it is, in a word - AWESOME! Once I saw Josh and others moving around so quickly, I purchaed the PragProg book on tmux: which really made for a quick start.

How it works: you start a “session” and can then define multiple “panes” inside the window. I define the top pane as vim and the bottom pane as termina. Each pane is a fully functioning terminal or console application. Then, tmux has a “prefix” or “leader” key combination which drops you into tmux-mode (my term) where you can move around the window to your heart’s content, all without any mousing around.

I re-mapped my Ctrl key to the CapsLock key and the tmus prefix key-combo to Ctrl-A (from Ctrl-B) so now getting into tmux mode is effortless. Furthermore, I’ve re-mapped the tmux shortcut keys to mirror the corresponding vim keys, so now {Ctrl-A} followed by h,j,k,l operate just like vim but move me between different panes on the window. So now, a simple keystroke takes me from vim to terminal, execute a command, then another keystroke takes me back to vim.

The book got me started very quickly and almost effortlessly, as it is structured to make the whole things is vim-ish as possible.

Highly recommended!

Hi JESii, thanks a lot for your answer. I know about tmux, but didn’t dive in it for now. But after seeing how Josh has his terminal and Vim, all in one window. I’ll definetly check it out. I also heard tmux is a great solution for Pair Programming.

Thanks also for the books reference, as I’m a kind of book person I’ll defenitly check it out.



I just purchased the PragProg book on tmux and it’s a very handy resource for getting started with tmux. Very well explained and the exercises are easy to follow along.

Hi Anthony,

It would also be worthwhile checking out Thoughtbot’s screencast covering tmux (& Josh’s setup) -

thanks kappiah, watching the video right know. Apparantly Josh also wrote a blogpost on tmux:
a tmux crash course