How to move between clients


I have two Kakoune clients, opened next to each other, I am wondering how to move from one client to another? (is there anything similar to vim ctrl-w left, right, up, down?)
best regards,


There is no such mechanism in Kakoune itself. It’s on purpose, Kakoune doesn’t have to implement yet another window manager.

It must be implemented at the level of your windows manager / shell multiplexer. Many Kakoune users use Tmux for this (I don’t) and there must be some Kakoune plugins that implement vim’s ctrl-w in tmux.

I, for myself just use my WM to focus clients and move clients around. I think it’s a big win as I don’t have to know the context to perform a window focus or window move actions.

My brain and muscle memory are not good at

if I am in vim:
else if I am in tmux:

It’s always mod4+[hjkl] to navigate between windows and mod4+[HJKL] to move windows around, for me.

Most WM out there implement some kind of window selection (alt-tab ?) use this if it’s enough for you. If not, either use Kakoune in tmux - there is a native support in kakoune so :new is aware of tmux - and learn tmux shortcuts, or use bare term windows and implement window selection within Kakoune using xdotool, ydotool, i3-msg…(There are probably recipes/plugins for this in the wild I’m not aware of)

Thank you for your quick reply.
Actually, I am new to kakoune, so I am trying to understand.
I use byobu (tmux wrapper with kakoune)
When I am using the :new command in kakoune I am opening a new client, the new client is created at the terminal level rather than at Kakoune level, am I right?
Best regards

I don’t use tmux for myself, but my intuition was right, I just tested in tmux :new opens an new tmux pane.

:new creates an new (kakoune) client linked to the current kakoune session in an new terminal (whether this terminal is open in a WM-level window or in a tmux pane depends on your setup, I don’t know about byobu).

I have tested it in Byobu, it is working perfectly. I just need to use CTRL-A Tab to switch between Kakoun clients.

I created the ctrlw plugin for tmux for exactly this.


Thank you for this plugin

Huh - I’d been thinking about writing my own version of this, it’s always nice to find that someone else did the work for me :wink:

By the way, Is there any documentations about this issue (How to move between clients?) I did not find anything in migrate from vim section, maybe in the doc?
If there is no doc for this, I think it will be a good idea to add a small section in migrate from vim, also it will be nice to add the plugin description in the place.

I cannot find such a documentation, so I think it would be a good addition to the migrate from vim section.

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when I first saw Kakoune, and read about that it doesn’t implement windowing system I’ve thought: “what a waste…”, after maybe a year and a half I’ve given it a try, and at that point I wasn’t using tmux at all. So my kakoune journey began with getting tmux set up, and after that, I’ve discovered that Kakoune supports tmux really well, and it became obvious that I just need to learn how to handle splits in order to move between clients.

Also there’s focus command.