How To Use Linux Screen

Have you ever ever confronted the scenario the place you carry out a long-running job on a distant machine, and instantly your connection drops, the SSH session is terminated, and your work is misplaced. Effectively, it has occurred to all of us in some unspecified time in the future, hasn’t it? Fortunately, there’s a utility known as screen that enables us to renew the classes.

Screen or GNU screen is a terminal multiplexer. In different phrases, it means you can begin a screen session after which open any variety of home windows (digital terminals) inside that session. Processes operating in screen will proceed to run when their window just isn’t seen even in case you get disconnected.

Set up Linux GNU screen

The screen package deal is pre-installed on most Linux distros these days. You possibly can verify whether it is put in in your system by typing:

$ screen --version
Screen version 4.06.02 (GNU) 23-Oct-17

Should you don’t have screen put in in your system, you possibly can simply set up it utilizing the package deal supervisor of your distro.

Set up Linux screen on Ubuntu and Debian

$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt install screen

Set up Linux screen on CentOS and Fedora

$ sudo yum install screen

Beginning Linux screen

To start out a screen session, merely sort screen in your console:

$ screen

It will open a screen session, create a brand new window, and begin a shell in that window.

Now that you’ve opened a screen session, you may get a listing of instructions by typing:

Ctrl+a ? 

Beginning Named Session

Named classes are helpful once you run a number of screen classes. To create a named session, run the screen command with the next arguments:

$ screen -S session_name

It’s all the time a good suggestion to decide on a descriptive session identify.

Working with Linux screen Home windows

Whenever you begin a brand new screen session, it creates a single window with a shell in it.

You possibly can have a number of home windows inside a screen session.

To create a brand new window with shell sort Ctrl+a c, the primary obtainable quantity from the vary 0...9 shall be assigned to it.

Beneath are some most typical instructions for managing Linux screen Home windows:

  • Ctrl+a c Create a brand new window (with shell)
  • Ctrl+a " Checklist all window
  • Ctrl+a 0 Swap to window 0 (by quantity )
  • Ctrl+a A Rename the present window
  • Ctrl+a S Break up present area horizontally into two areas
  • Ctrl+a | Break up present area vertically into two areas
  • Ctrl+a tab Swap the enter focus to the subsequent area
  • Ctrl+a Ctrl+a Toggle between the present and former area
  • Ctrl+a Q Shut all areas however the present one
  • Ctrl+a X Shut the present area

Detach from Linux Screen Session

You possibly can detach from the screen session at any time by typing:

Ctrl+a d

This system operating within the screen session will proceed to run after you detach from the session.

Reattach to a Linux Screen

To renew your screen session use the next command:

$ screen -r

In case you may have a number of screen classes operating in your machine, you will have to append the screen session ID after the r change.

To seek out the session ID checklist the present operating screen classes with:

$ screen -ls
There are screens on:
    12845.pts-0.linuxconcept-desktop   (Detached)
    12466.pts-0.linuxconcept-desktop   (Detached)
2 Sockets in /run/screens/S-linuxconcept.

If you wish to restore screen 12466.pts-0, then sort the next command:

$ screen -r 12466

Customise Linux Screen

When screen is began, it reads its configuration parameters from /etc/screenrc and ~/.screenrc if the file is current. We are able to modify the default screen settings in line with our preferences utilizing the .screenrc file.

Here’s a pattern ~/.screenrc configuration with custom-made standing line and few extra choices:

# Turn off the welcome message
startup_message off
# Disable visual bell
vbell off
# Set scrollback buffer to 10000
defscrollback 10000
# Customize the status line
hardstatus alwayslastline
hardstatus string '%{= kG}[ %{G}%H %{g}][%= %{= kw}%?%-Lw%?%{r}(%{W}%n*%f%t%?(%u)%?%{r})%{w}%?%+Lw%?%?%= %{g}][%{B} %m-%d %{W}%c %{g}]'

Primary Linux Screen Utilization

Beneath are essentially the most primary steps for getting began with screen:

  1. On the command immediate, sort screen.
  2. Run the specified program.
  3. Use the important thing sequence Ctrl-a + Ctrl-d to detach from the screen session.
  4. Reattach to the screen session by typing screen -r.


n this tutorial, you realized how one can use Gnu screen. Now you can begin utilizing the screen utility and create a number of screen home windows from a single session, navigate between home windows, detach and resume screen classes and personalize your screen terminal utilizing the .screenrc file.

There’s tons extra to find out about Gnu screen at Screen User’s Manual web page.

In case you have any questions or suggestions, be at liberty to go away a remark.


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