Restoring tmux Sessions

I’ve been a big fan of tmux since I started using it in 2014. I use it locally for multiplexing my terminal, and in combination with mosh it’s also fantastic for work on remote servers. My main issue with it is losing my sessions when a box restarts. Luckily there’s plugins for tmux that solve this problem!

Prerequisites

  • tmux (brew install tmux on OS X)
  • TPM (tmux plugin manager). See https://github.com/tmux-plugins/tpm#installation for installation instructions.

Setup

There are two plugins I recommend: tmux-resurrect and tmux-continuum. tmux-resurrect enables saving and restoring tmux sessions manually, while tmux-continuum saves automatically and allows for automatically restoring from the last save when tmux is started. To enable these settings, add the following to your ~/.tmux.conf:

Usage

With this configuration, there’s no need to do anything manually. Your tmux sessions will be automatically saved every 15 minutes and automatically restored when tmux is started (e.g. after a reboot). You can manually save with prefix-Ctrl-s and manually restore with prefix-Ctrl-r if desired.

Note that this won’t restore running applications. tmux-resurrect has an optional configuration for doing so, but I’ve left this off for the time being.

HTTPS Support

I didn’t keep up with my promise to blog more regularly from summer 2016, but it’s a new year and I’m giving it another go.

To start things off, I decided to finally enable HTTPS for this site and my separate site for short fiction. Even though these sites are low-traffic and don’t deal with any sensitive information, it’s still a good idea to support HTTPS. See https://www.eff.org/encrypt-the-web for some background on why.

I had looked at doing this when I first started running this site,  but at the time it was a pretty tedious process. Today it’s straightforward, even though I’m on shared hosting.

First I needed to get certificates. I chose to use Let’s Encrypt, since it’s free, highly automated, and a joint, open effort. To actually interact with Let’s Encrypt, I installed the Acme PHP client on my web hosts. This tool allowed me to obtain the certificates via one shell command:

Then I modified the .htaccess file to redirect all HTTP traffic to HTTPS:

And that’s it!

The only piece I don’t have totally working is automatic renewal of my certificates. I’ve got the renewal happening on a cron but it’s not yet updating the one used by the site.