Autarchy of the Private Cave

Tiny bits of bioinformatics, [web-]programming etc

    screen mastery with only 3 keyboard shortcuts

    1st March 2010

    screen is a must-use for anyone familiar with SSH sessions; it saves your time by keeping your console apps running even after (an unexpected) disconnect from the remote session.

    The easiest way to start with screen is screenie – an interface to screen. To use it, you only need to memorize a single keyboard shortcut: C-a d (Ctrl+a, d). This shortcut detaches (hides) your current screen session, allowing to resume later – either with the help of screenie, or by issuing screen -r command.

    After a while, with increased screen (and screenie) usage, you will find it inconvenient detaching every time you need a new screen session. Here comes the second keyboard shortcut: C-a c (Ctrl+a, c), which creates a new window within a current screen session, and switches to it.

    Finally, you will find it tiresome detaching to then re-attach to a different screen. C-a “ (Ctrl+a, Shift+’) will display a list of screen windows for you to select and switch to.

    Screenie, an excellent beginner’s interface to screen, is no longer needed after you memorize these 3 keyboard shortcuts.

    Many will say that this is a bare minimum, and also there is much more to screen than what you present here, and that will be true. However, these 3 shortcuts are sufficient for simple but convenient everyday screen sessions management.

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    2 Responses to “screen mastery with only 3 keyboard shortcuts”

    1. Oleksiy Protas Says:

      You forgot C-a n and C-a p which are also invaluable for a beginner :)

    2. Bogdan Says:

      With C-a “ those two are redundant ;)
      Personally (as a beginner) I found it easier to memorize single command than 2 commands.

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