Awesome Open Source
Awesome Open Source


A lightning fast version of tmux-fingers written in Rust for copy pasting with vimium/vimperator like hints.


Press ( prefix + Space ) to highlight in you current tmux visible pane all text that match specific patterns. Then press the highlighted letter hint to yank the text in your tmux buffer.

Matched patterns

  • File paths
  • File in diff
  • Git SHAs
  • IPFS CID's
  • Colors in hex
  • Numbers ( 4+ digits )
  • Hex numbers
  • Markdown urls
  • IPv4, IPv6 addresses
  • Docker images
  • kubernetes resources
  • UUIDs

These are the list of matched patterns that will be highlighted by default. If you want to highlight a pattern that is not in this list you can add one or more with --regexp parameter.




tmux-thumbs is written in Rust. You will need rustc version 1.35.0 or higher. The recommended way to install Rust is from the official download page.

Tmux integration

Clone the repo:

git clone ~/.tmux/plugins/tmux-thumbs

Compile it with cargo:

cd ~/.tmux/plugins/tmux-thumbs
cargo build --release

Source it in your .tmux.conf:

run-shell ~/.tmux/plugins/tmux-thumbs/tmux-thumbs.tmux

Reload TMUX conf by running:

tmux source-file ~/.tmux.conf

Using Tmux Plugin Manager

You can add this line to your list of TPM plugins in .tmux.conf:

set -g @plugin 'fcsonline/tmux-thumbs'

To be able to install the plugin just hit prefix + I. You should now be able to use the plugin!


If you want to customize how is shown your tmux-thumbs hints those all available parameters to set your perfect profile.

NOTE: for changes to take effect, you'll need to source again your .tmux.conf file.


default: space

Choose which key is used to enter in thumbs mode.

For example:

set -g @thumbs-key F


default: qwerty

Choose which set of characters is used to build hints. Review all available alphabets

For example:

set -g @thumbs-alphabet dvorak-homerow


default: disabled

Choose in which direction you want to assign hints. Useful to get shorter hints closer to the cursor.

For example:

set -g @thumbs-reverse


default: disabled

Choose if you want to assign the same hint for the same matched strings.

For example:

set -g @thumbs-unique


default: left

Choose where do you want to show the hint in the matched string. Options (left, right, off_left, off_right).

For example:

set -g @thumbs-position right


Add extra patterns to match. This parameter can have multiple instances.

For example:

set -g @thumbs-regexp-1 '[a-z][email protected][a-z]' # Match emails
set -g @thumbs-regexp-2 '[a-f0-9]{2}:[a-f0-9]{2}:[a-f0-9]{2}:[a-f0-9]{2}:[a-f0-9]{2}:[a-f0-9]{2}:' # Match MAC addresses
set -g @thumbs-regexp-3 'Vlan\d+' # match Vlan interface on network devices
set -g @thumbs-regexp-4 "Vlan\\d+" # alternative method of defining regexp
set -g @thumbs-regexp-5 Vlan\\d+ # alternative method of defining regexp


default: 'tmux set-buffer -- {} && tmux display-message \"Copied {}\"'

Choose which command execute when you press a hint. tmux-thumbs will replace {} with the picked hint.

For example:

set -g @thumbs-command 'echo -n {} | pbcopy'


default: 'tmux set-buffer -- {} && tmux paste-buffer && tmux display-message \"Copied {}\"'

Choose which command execute when you press a upcase hint. tmux-thumbs will replace {} with the picked hint.

For example:

set -g @thumbs-upcase-command 'echo -n {} | pbcopy'


default: black

Sets the background color for matches

For example:

set -g @thumbs-bg-color blue


default: green

Sets the foreground color for matches

For example:

set -g @thumbs-fg-color green


default: black

Sets the background color for hints

For example:

set -g @thumbs-hint-bg-color blue


default: yellow

Sets the foreground color for hints

For example:

set -g @thumbs-hint-fg-color green


default: blue

Sets the foreground color for selection

For example:

set -g @thumbs-select-fg-color red


default: black

Sets the background color for selection

For example:

set -g @thumbs-select-bg-color red


default: 0

Displays hint character in square brackets for extra visibility.

For example:

set -g @thumbs-contrast 1


default: 0

If this is set to 1, tmux-thumbs will print a OSC52 copy escape sequence when you select a match, in addition to running the pick command. This sequence, in terminals that support it (e.g. iTerm), allows the content to be copied into the system clipboard in addition to the tmux copy buffer.

For example:

set -g @thumbs-osc52 1


This is the list of predefined colors:

  • black
  • red
  • green
  • yellow
  • blue
  • magenta
  • cyan
  • white
  • default

There is also support for using hex colors in the form of #RRGGBB.


This is the list of available alphabets:

  • numeric: 1234567890
  • abcd: abcd
  • qwerty: asdfqwerzxcvjklmiuopghtybn
  • qwerty-homerow: asdfjklgh
  • qwerty-left-hand: asdfqwerzcxv
  • qwerty-right-hand: jkluiopmyhn
  • azerty: qsdfazerwxcvjklmuiopghtybn
  • azerty-homerow: qsdfjkmgh
  • azerty-left-hand: qsdfazerwxcv
  • azerty-right-hand: jklmuiophyn
  • qwertz: asdfqweryxcvjkluiopmghtzbn
  • qwertz-homerow: asdfghjkl
  • qwertz-left-hand: asdfqweryxcv
  • qwertz-right-hand: jkluiopmhzn
  • dvorak: aoeuqjkxpyhtnsgcrlmwvzfidb
  • dvorak-homerow: aoeuhtnsid
  • dvorak-left-hand: aoeupqjkyix
  • dvorak-right-hand: htnsgcrlmwvz
  • colemak: arstqwfpzxcvneioluymdhgjbk
  • colemak-homerow: arstneiodh
  • colemak-left-hand: arstqwfpzxcv
  • colemak-right-hand: neioluymjhk

Extra features

  • Arrow navigation: You can use the arrows to move around between all matched items.
  • Auto paste: If your last typed hint character is uppercase, you are going to pick and paste the desired hint.
  • Multi selection: If you run thumb with multi selection mode you will be able to choose multiple hints pressing the desired letter and Space to finalize the selection.

Tmux compatibility

This is the known list of versions of tmux compatible with tmux-thumbs:

Version Compatible

If you can check hat tmux-thumbs is or is not compatible with some specific version of tmux, let me know.

Standalone thumbs

This project started as a tmux plugin but after reviewing it with some friends we decided to explore all the possibilities of decoupling thumbs from tmux. You can install it with a simple command:

cargo install thumbs

And those are all available options:

thumbs 0.5.1
A lightning fast version copy/pasting like vimium/vimperator

    thumbs [FLAGS] [OPTIONS]

    -c, --contrast    Put square brackets around hint for visibility
    -h, --help        Prints help information
    -m, --multi       Enable multi-selection
    -r, --reverse     Reverse the order for assigned hints
    -u, --unique      Don't show duplicated hints for the same match
    -V, --version     Prints version information

    -a, --alphabet <alphabet>                          Sets the alphabet [default: qwerty]
        --bg-color <background_color>                  Sets the background color for matches [default: black]
        --fg-color <foreground_color>                  Sets the foregroud color for matches [default: green]
    -f, --format <format>
            Specifies the out format for the picked hint. (%U: Upcase, %H: Hint) [default: %H]

        --hint-bg-color <hint_background_color>        Sets the background color for hints [default: black]
        --hint-fg-color <hint_foreground_color>        Sets the foregroud color for hints [default: yellow]
    -p, --position <position>                          Hint position [default: left]
    -x, --regexp <regexp>...                           Use this regexp as extra pattern to match
        --select-bg-color <select_background_color>    Sets the background color for selection [default: black]
        --select-fg-color <select_foreground_color>    Sets the foreground color for selection [default: blue]
    -t, --target <target>                              Stores the hint in the specified path

If you want to enjoy terminal hints, you can do things like this without tmux:

> alias pick='thumbs -u -r | xsel --clipboard -i'
> git log | pick

Or multi selection:

> git log | thumbs -m

Standalone thumbs has some similarities to FZF.


As I said, this project is based in tmux-fingers. Morantron did an extraordinary job, building all necessary pieces in Bash to achieve the text picker behaviour. He only deserves my gratitude for all the time I have been using tmux-fingers.

During a Fosdem conf, we had the idea to rewrite it to another language. He had these thoughts many times ago but it was hard to start from scratch. So, we decided to start playing with Node.js and react-blessed, but we detected some unacceptable latency when the program booted. We didn't investigate much about this latency.

During those days another alternative appeared, called tmux-picker, implemented in python and reusing many parts from tmux-fingers. It was nice, because it was fast and added original terminal color support.

I was curious to know if this was possible to be written in Rust, and soon I realized that was something doable. The ability to implement tests for all critic parts of the application give you a great confidence about it. On the other hand, Rust has an awesome community that lets you achieve this kind of project in a short period of time.


  • [X] Support multi selection
  • [X] Decouple tmux-thumbs from tmux
  • [ ] Code Kitty plugin, now that thumbs can run standalone


This project started as a side project to learn Rust, so I'm sure that is full of mistakes and areas to be improve. If you think you can tweak the code to make it better, I'll really appreciate a pull request. ;)



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