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Let’s Play With GNU Screen

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Software
HowTos

The Screen utility is provided by the GNU Foundation; take a look at www.gnu.org/software/screen/ for more details. It comes pre-installed in most Linux distros—if not, you can use sudo apt-get install screen (or your distro’s package manager) to install it from the distro’s package repositories. I‘m using Ubuntu 10.04 32-bit, which has Screen pre-installed—version 4.00.03jw4.

Let’s get started. You can launch Screen by running screen in your terminal window. You will see a welcome banner and information, which you can page through with the space-bar, or hit Return to exit to a normal shell prompt. Now Screen is managing your session.

Note: Key bindings mentioned here are case-sensitive; Ctrl-a S is not the same as Ctrl-a s.

Screen lets you do many things. You can create Screen sessions using the key-binding Ctrl-a c. Understand that you have created a new shell, and it will appear on your screen—but the old shell you started with will also be running side by side. You can toggle between the shells using the Ctrl-a . (Ctrl-a followed by a period) key-binding. To view all shells managed by Screen, use Ctrl-a “.

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