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How to kill all the Tmux sessions

by Abraham
install and use tmux on linux

Tmux is a free and open-source terminal multiplexer that allows you to manage many terminal windows simultaneously. It allows you to effortlessly switch between numerous applications in one terminal, detach them, and reconnect them to another.  People who have used the Terminator application before will be familiar with tab management in Linux Terminal.

Tmux sessions are persistent, implying that applications running in Tmux will keep running even if you disconnect.  This application allows us to divide the terminal into many windows. We can move, resize, and switch between these panes to make them fit our needs. All commands in Tmux begin with a prefix, which is ctrl+b, by default.

The accompanying remote terminal sessions are also terminated whenever you terminate an SSH connection. Tmux comes in handy here since it saves those sessions after the SSH connection is ended. This alleviates the strain of handling several Gnome terminal windows and tabs.

In this post, we’ll look at how to kill all Tmux Sessions and install Tmux on our Linux distro.  We shall do the illustration using Ubuntu 20.04 LTS as the foundation system for this tutorial guide.

To begin, we must have a look at the prerequisites shown below:


  1. Ubuntu 20.04 LTS
  2. Installed Tmux on your Ubuntu distro
  3. Sudo privileges
  4. Internet connectivity

Once you have all the mentioned prerequisites in place, install Tmux on your system.

Note: In this guide, we shall only be brushing through the installation process, but if you need a detailed guide on installing and using Tmux on Linux, check out this guide.

Installing Tmux

Tmux software packages are available from the official repositories of major operating systems such as Linux, macOS, and WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux). To install Tmux on Ubuntu 20.04, use the command line or Software Center as instructed below:

Launch your terminal and execute the line of code below:

sudo apt-get install tmux


Alternatively, if you opt to use the software center, launch it, search for Tmux and click the install button.

Once you are done installing it on your Linux distro, proceed and launch the installed Tmux app. We shall be using the Gnome terminal to fire up the Tmux application. Launch your terminal using the “Ctrl+Alt+T” keyboard combination to launch the terminal. Once the terminal is up and running, copy and paste the code below:

start tmux

Start Tmux

The command above will launch the Tmux application.

Note: If you encounter the error below, don’t freak out since we have a solution for you.

"open terminal failed: missing or unsuitable terminal: xterm-256color"

To fix this problem, write “export TERM=xterm” into the terminal and press enter on your keyboard to execute it. Re-run the ‘tmux’ command, and the error should be gone this time.

That’s all. You have successfully installed and launched Tmux on your system.

Now it is time to delve deeper into learning how to kill all Tmux sessions

How to kill all Tmux sessions

When you disconnect from a Tmux session, it continues to operate so that you can rejoin it later. However, if you no longer need the session, you should probably end it. You can accomplish this by simply terminating the session.

The Tmux kill-session command is used to kill a Tmux session. Tmux will terminate the current or last active session if no session is specified. Depending on whether or not you are currently in an active Tmux session.

tmux kill-session

The -t option, with the session name as its argument, can be used to specify a session to kill.

tmux kill-session -t tuts_one

The -t option, with the session name as its argument, can be used to specify a session to kill.

As stated in this article guide, there are several ways to kill Tmux sessions.

Individual Session Killing in Tmux

To terminate a Tmux session, we may type ‘exit’ or press ‘Ctrl+d.’ To terminate a session, use the ‘kill-session’ command:

tmux kill-session -t foss_1
exited foss 1 session

Exited foss_1 session

Note: The current command exited after running the kill-session command. Don’t be confused by the new-session command displayed on the output as the terminated Tmux application return the [exited] output.

Kill/terminate all Tmux sessions

The kill-session command is not the most straightforward approach to terminating all Tmux sessions. The kill-server command can be used to terminate all Tmux sessions at once. In addition to terminating all sessions, this command will also terminate the Tmux server.

tmux kill-server

Terminating a Specific Session

We may also select a session to kill by running the following command to define the target session:

tmux list-sessions


tmux ls
tmux list sessions

Tmux list sessions

Use the command ‘tmux kill-session -t sessionIDorName’ to kill a specific session. For example, if we wish to terminate the session’ foss_3,’ the command will be:

tmux kill-session -t foss_3
kill specific foss 3 session

Kill specific foss_3 session

Terminate all other tmux sessions

The kill-session command can be used to kill all sessions except one. You’ll need to use the -a option for this.

There is no need to supply a session name if you wish to stop all Tmux sessions except the current one. If you are not in tmux, tmux will presume you wish to terminate the last active session. To terminate all other tmux sessions, use the command below.

tmux kill-session -a
kill last active session

Kill last active session

If that’s not what you’re looking for, you may provide your own session name. You’ll need to use the same -t option as previously for this.

tmux kill-session -at fosslinux_session
Before Output:
fosslinux session

fosslinux session

After Output:
exited fosslinux session

Exited fosslinux session

Tmux Process Extinction

We may use this way to terminate the whole Tmux process tree. Search for ‘Tmux’ in the process tab of the System Monitor program. This will provide a list of all Tmux processes that are currently active.

tmux current active process

Tmux current active process

Now, use the following command to end all sessions:

pkill -f tmux
exit tmux sessions and server

Exit Tmux sessions and server

As demonstrated below, all Tmux processes (clients and server) are terminated:

killed tmux processes and server

killed tmux processes and server


This article taught us about Tmux installation, fundamentals, and, more precisely, “How to terminate all Tmux sessions.” We believe that this article came in handy for you. Please leave a remark in the comments section if you found it helpful.

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