Tmux is a fantastic tool for improving productivity when working with a terminal. One of the first things people configure when start using tmux is changing the prefix key. The default value is
control+b, which is not very confortable to press with a single hand. And as you’ll end up pressing it a lot, for every tmux command, the most common used configuration is changing it to
This is much better, but you still need to press two keys simultaneously before typing any tmux command. After using this configuration for some time, I decided to change it to a single key, to make it even easier.
I though about changing the prefix to
caps lock. Besides being rarely used, it’s very well positioned. However, you can’t set
caps lock as prefix in tmux. An alternative solution is mapping the
caps lock key to something else. In OSX, you can set it to another modifier key, like
esc: go to
System Preferences =>
Modifier keys. First I tried mapping it to
esc, and setting
esc as tmux prefix. It works, but this setup brought another problem: as a vim user, I use the
esc key a lot (to alternate between vim modes), so now I had to type
caps lock twice to send the
esc key to vim. It was ok, but not ideal.
Then I tried another solution: I installed Karabiner-Elements, a Mac app which allows you to completely customize your keyboard. So I mapped the
caps lock key to
Home (which doesn’t exist in Mac keyboard), and changed tmux prefix key to
set -g prefix Home unbind C-b bind-key Home send-prefix
Now I have a great configuration: I use a single key (
caps lock) as prefix, and without losing any key functionality.