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tmux conemu windows-subsystem-for-linux byobu cmder
Updated Thu, 18 Aug 2022 20:55:57 GMT

How to make byobu work on Windows, using "Bash for Windows", on the Cmder (ConEmu) terminal?

I am using a vanilla install of Cmder (mini). Windows 10 with WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux, Bash for Windows) installed. Using the following command to load bash in Cmder.

%windir%\system32\bash.exe ~ -c zsh -cur_console:p

To check if function keys work at all in the terminal window, I opened a text file with nano. With nano open, if I press F2 (the shortcut to save and close), it works as expected. So, the terminal receives at least F2 correctly.

Then, I opened byobu (installed by default in WSL / Ubuntu). Byobu opens correctly. But when I press F2, nothing happens. It is expected to open a new window within Byobu. Nothing even gets printed in the terminal.

Now, I am not sure if it is a ConEmu problem specifically. The exact same thing happens with the regular Windows cmd.exe . The difference is - if I Left-Click anywhere on the cmd terminal screen (activates select mode), and if I then press F2, it works by opening a new byobu window.

If I run tmux directly, then the Ctrl-B+% and Ctrl-B+" shortcuts work.

Not being able to use byobu makes the whole Windows Bash experience useless for me (especially when SSHing to remote machines). I would much appreciate a solution. Thanks!


The F-key controls in Byobu under Ubuntu on Windows just recently started working for me, with the latest update to the Developer Channel of Windows 10 on the Fast Ring.

Full disclosure: I'm the author of Byobu.

Comments (4)

  • +0 – So, should I switch over to the Insider Preview builds of Win 10 to get access to this? I am a little sceptical to switch over on my main PC. — Jan 18, 2017 at 10:28  
  • +0 – I went ahead and switched to the fast ring. I am on build 15019. It mostly works now. But, many times, when I press the shortcuts like "Alt+Arrow-Keys", "Shift+Arrow-Keys", instead of the intended action, an alphabet or some special character gets printed on the console. If I retry the same key combination multiple times, about 60-70% of the cases, the action succeeds. Other times, some character gets printed on the console. Even the function keys have a similar success ratio. Any idea why? — Jan 31, 2017 at 12:28  
  • +0 – A colleague using Windows 10 is having the same issue when connecting to byobu-enabled Debian 8 systems. Is there no alternative but to have Dev channel enabled in Windows 10? — Feb 07, 2017 at 18:25  
  • +0 – I don't think so. Even on the latest Insiders build (15025), the issue is not totally fixed. Issue link here: — Feb 08, 2017 at 06:13  

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