I have these automcmds that work nicely for renaming tmux windows with the current filename (from here):

autocmd BufEnter * call system("tmux rename-window " . expand("%:t"))
autocmd VimLeave * call system("tmux rename-window bash")

I also want to add an additional lines to also change the colour of the window name, with something like this:

tmux set -a window-status-current-style "fg=#{@vimfile}"

How do I add the additional tmux command?


1 Answer 1


In general, it's not a problem to have multiple autocmd for the same event. Moreover, they are guaranteed to execute in the very same order. So you can write it this way:

augroup tmux | au!
autocmd BufEnter * call system("tmux rename-window " . expand("%:t"))
autocmd BufEnter * !tmux set -a window-status-current-style "fg=\#{@vimfile}"
augroup end
  • the first command has to use expand() (and so system()) not to fail on empty file/buffer name;
  • the second command has an extra backslash \# because of the Vim's command-line parser;

Note however that in this case you spawn tmux process twice (as well as shell process) per each BufEnter which is suboptimal.

Instead of this, you can use a semicolon to pass multiple tmux commands per a single invocation. It's also possible to take care of an empty file name like this:

augroup tmux | au!
autocmd BufEnter * call system(printf('tmux rename-window %s\;
    \ set -a window-status-current-style "fg=#{@vimfile}"',
    \ empty(@%) ? 'Noname' : fnamemodify(@%, ':t')))
augroup end

(Yet another backslash \; is needed for the shell's parser).

  • Thanks, but this isn't working and I get some sort of message on startup saying :!tmux rename-window init.vim\; set -a window-status-current-style "fg=#{@vimfile}" Press ENTER or type command to continue I am using neovim v0.5.1 if that makes any difference here.
    – paradroid
    Oct 30, 2021 at 12:06
  • I also get this error message when starting with no file: Error detected while processing BufEnter Autocommands for "*": E499: Empty file name for '%' or '#', only works with ":p:h": !tmux rename-window %:t\; set -a window-status-current-style "fg=\#{@vimfile}"
    – paradroid
    Oct 30, 2021 at 12:09
  • @paradroid Indeed. File name modifiers do not like empty names when used on the cmdline (not as an expression). I revised the answer.
    – Matt
    Oct 30, 2021 at 18:36

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