toggle for f-key-bindings on/off

Bug #386363 reported by Dustin Kirkland  on 2009-06-12
This bug affects 3 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Dustin Kirkland 

Bug Description

I'm quite a heavy user of mc (midnight commander) which in turn makes heavy use of the function keys. Now one could reassign all the byobu keys differently but that would be confusing when working on a different server without my custom keybinding. So one nice and easy solution would be one keyboard shortcut to disable the byobu key-bindings and then simply re-enabling them again.

Dustin Kirkland  (kirkland) wrote :

This is easier said than done. However, enough people have asked that I think it would be a well-received feature.

What key would would make a good toggle? Something that isn't already used in screen, and also not conflicting with MC or whatever other popular programs are out there?


Changed in byobu:
assignee: nobody → Dustin Kirkland (kirkland)
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
status: New → Triaged
Dietmar Winkler (dietmarw) wrote :

As I think toggeling should be very easy and not much finger acrobatics involved I'd go for:


I couldn't find this binding anywhere else used.

Dustin Kirkland  (kirkland) wrote :

Sorry, we're going to need to reasonably ensure a lack of collisions.

Also, a perfect "toggle" would require storing state, and conditionally executing one action, or another depending on the state. Screen doesn't really support that sort of advanced operation on key bindings.

However, I have gotten this to work really nicely with two separate keys, one to enable, and the other to disable:

ctrl-a-( enables
ctrl-a-) disables

It seems to work pretty well.

I know you want to avoid "finger acrobatics", however, we're going to need to use the ctrl-a (or your custom defined escape sequence) to keep from colliding with other userspace programs (see your original complaint about mc). Also, most of the non-symbol characters are already taken by screen built-ins (see ctrl-a-?).

As such, I think "(" and ")" make reasonable sense, and compliment one another.

Committed revision 507, will be in 2.11 release.


Changed in byobu:
status: Triaged → Fix Committed
Dietmar Winkler (dietmarw) wrote :

Dustin, all your arguments sound very reasonable and I think the bindings with "(" and ")" are a good compromise.

Thanks again for implementing this in such a short time. Wow 4 hours for a feature request being implemented ... simply amazing! :)


Cheers, thanks for the cooperative suggestions.

ctrl-a-( and ctrl-a-) are working very well for me, actually. I think
this is going to end up being a rather important feature.


Changed in byobu:
status: Fix Committed → Fix Released
Dustin Kirkland  (kirkland) wrote :

Please note that byobu 2.12 now uses a single key sequence to toggle f-keys on/off. ctrl-a-( and ctrl-a-) are no longer used. Please use ctrl-a-! to toggle.


Jay R. Wren (evarlast) wrote :

what about byobu-tmux? none of ctrl-a-(, ctrl-a-), ctrl-a-! work.

@Jay R. Wren (evarlast)

I realize I'm rather late to the party, but in case you are still seeking an answer to this question, and in case anyone else finds this page via Google like I did, I thought I would add the comment here that I have found the new key in the current Byobu is Shift-F12 to toggle Fkeys on/off as far as I can tell. At least that is the key that appears to work properly on MY system anyhow.

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