So at home ive been a linux user for a while, and frequently use byobu in the terminal. After a little searching I was unable to find anything like it for a mac, which I now have to use at work. I'm curious as to there being any software available to macs that can do this, or has a similar setup.

2 Answers 2


No need to look for an equivalent. It's available for the Mac. You can quickly and easily install it using the excellent Homebrew package manager. Once you have Homebrew installed, just type brew install byobu from the Terminal. It'll download the source, configure and install it.

  • I am not a user of github, but isn't it better to use the official application now that there is one?
    – molle
    Commented Jul 6, 2011 at 2:20
  • I'm not sure what you mean. Are you asking if it would be better to install Homebrew using the Github application? Commented Jul 6, 2011 at 3:36
  • I was thinking of this: mac.github.com. But perhaps it does not do the same thing.
    – molle
    Commented Jul 8, 2011 at 5:33
  • 1
    Ah, I see what you're saying. No, it's not the same thing. The Github application is for managing Github code repositories. Homebrew is a package manager for installing and managing applications. Commented Jul 8, 2011 at 14:11
  • 1
    I just did this but when I ran byobu it said "readlink: illegal option -- f" so I think i'm missing a dependency. coreutils and tmux are the dependencies I was missing.
    – jrwren
    Commented Mar 23, 2012 at 0:41

Sorry to necro an old post, but I am adding my own tricks and hacks that were needed to get this to work, since this is the first result for "byobu on mac".

After performing brew install byobu, I encountered the same error that @jrwen encountered. I tried to install both coreutils and tmux, but it turned out that I had coreutils installed. However my $PATH was setup in such a way that /usr/local/bin came towards the end so the mac versions were always found first. I fixed this by adding

export PATH=/usr/local/bin:$PATH 

to my ~/.bashrc and sourcing it.

After this I still got an error saying

/usr/local/bin/byobu: line 53: ../Cellar/byobu/blah blah : No such file or directory

Not sure what brought this on, but the hack that I used to fix this was to add

cd /usr/local/bin 

To the top of my /usr/local/bin/byobu script

It now works!!!

  • Sorry for (again) necro an old, but what did you get F2, F3, ... keys to work when using Terminal.app? Commented Sep 6, 2013 at 14:42
  • @Mandx on my latest install it works out of the box. Do you need to hold down fn and press f2 or F3 to get them to work? That might be the default in mac and you can toggle it somewhere..
    – Karthik T
    Commented Sep 7, 2013 at 11:27
  • @Mandx I am currently using iTerm, but was earlier using it with TotalTerminal, which is built on top of Terminal.app
    – Karthik T
    Commented Sep 7, 2013 at 11:27
  • Thanks for the response! I use the function keys as actual F#, I use them more that the "utility" keys. The issue was on the Keyboard section on the profile settings: Turns out I imported the Solarized settings from the Github repo and it had the keybindings wrong, for instance, the F2 key had this string \033[OQ and I noticed that a friend of mine (who uses TotalTerminal) had \033OQ instead. So I changed and it worked perfectly! Thanks anyway! Commented Sep 7, 2013 at 15:49
  • @Mandx ah ok, great that it is resolved!
    – Karthik T
    Commented Sep 8, 2013 at 10:20

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