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PubMob what to expect

What to expect: tmate


tmate is a fork of tmux designed for efficient terminal sharing.

How does tmate work?

Besides Zoom for face and voice, participants need only SSH or a web browser.

How do I get ready?

There's nothing to set up. At the start of the session, your session lead will provide an SSH command and a web hyperlink, either of which will join you to the shared terminal.

What about when it's my turn?

tmate sessions are read-write. When it's your turn, the previous driver will stop typing and you'll start.

Fallback rule

Generally there's little that can go wrong with tmate. In the unlikely event you encounter a problem, your session lead will attempt to help you resolve it. If you're unsuccessful, you'll be asked to type onto the session lead's machine using Zoom's remote control capability for the remainder of the session.

Trade-offs for tmate


  • Virtually no setup or installation required.

  • The full power of Unix.

  • Rapid handovers.

  • Puts the burden on the host to worry about build, test, and configuration issues.

  • The experience looks the same to everyone for the entire session.


  • Nothing fancy (unless you fancy vim).

tmate is ideal for the short sessions that PubMob offers, putting all the burden for session preparation on your session lead. It's also great for work in languages such as C or C++, where getting everyone to build the software on their machine might be asking too much. You might be giving up your comfortable development environment for a short while, but you'll be hands-on immediately with minimal worries.

PubMob what to expect