Linux – Slight delay when switching modes in vim using tmux or screen


Switching to and from insert mode in Vim is no longer instantaneous since I use tmux. After pressing Esc in insert mode, it takes a noticeable amount of time to actually get out of insert mode. After pressing Esc and any other key afterwards the switch is immediate, and the command for the key pressed after Esc is executed. Any idea what might cause this?

The Vim configuration is not the problem as the delay does not occur when I run Vim outside tmux, so this is probably related to tmux somehow. I use gnome-terminal btw.

Also worth noting, it seems I can not define key bindings in tmux for Esc, my plan was to bind Esc to:

bind Escape send-keys ^[

Alas, it seems binding anything to Esc for tmux does not work. The same problem occurs in screen as well.

Best Answer

After plowing through the man pages it turns out tmux has an option for this. The following in ~/.tmux.conf fixes the delay problem:

 set -sg escape-time 0

You have to restart your tmux server or reload your config for this to take effect. To do this, issue source-file ~/.tmux.conf from the tmux prompt.