Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I recently became enamored with the excellent app in Ubuntu GNU screen. I was really happy to see it installed on my Mac as well, but I can't split vertically... I guess I need to update it somehow. I tried mac ports, and brew, but I couldn't find anything. Has anyone done this successfully?

share|improve this question

Patch by Evan Meagher:

Using these instructions and patch to compile screen I now have screen with vertical splitting capability in Mac OS X

share|improve this answer
flawless! thanks. zero effort === time travel to 1 second ago ;-) – Brad Parks Mar 6 '13 at 1:46
Brilliant, worked for me as copy and paste job only, no thinking at all! Using OSX 10.8.2. – Billy Moon Mar 13 '13 at 16:12
Flawless indeed!!! Thanks for this!! – M. Rafay Aleem Jul 26 '14 at 20:15

Give tmux a try. You will have to use mac ports but its pretty painless minus the build times. If you like what screen gives you tmux does it all and more and is actually being maintained and improved.

Tmux Info

share|improve this answer
Tmux has no pasteboard access though. – Daniel Beck Jan 11 '11 at 17:07

The best solution these days (late 2014) is to download the current screen source and compile it locally. I just verified this works for me on OSX Mavericks.

There are some patches that need to be applied for building on Mac OSX. I have applied them and put the source code on Github.

Automatic Instuctions

git clone && cd screen-for-OSX/ && ./

Manual Instructions:

  1. git clone
  2. cd screen-for-OSX/src
  3. ./
  4. ./configure --prefix=/usr/local
  5. make
  6. sudo make install

Post Installation:

The new binary is installed into /usr/local/bin. It doesn't replace the old one, so it needs to be called by absolute path, or you need to rearrange your PATH variable. Please see the file for more details.

share|improve this answer

My suggestions (pick one):

  1. Try tmux. You should find it in MacPorts and Homebrew (don't even mention Fink), or you can compile it from source.
  2. You can compile the latest source code (hxxps://; it should be easy enough if you look at the README.
share|improve this answer

Just a side note.

If you have MacPorts the vertical split patch is installed by default

port cat screen | grep vertical

sudo port -v install screen

But split -v and Ctrl+A, | don't work. Bummer.

share|improve this answer

AFAIK you need at least screen-4.01. You can get it from their git repositories over at gnus's savannah. One of the newer dowloads here might also work, but I haven't tried.

share|improve this answer

Try "split -v" or C-a |. Those are set with the current release of gnu-screen installed on Ubuntu (screen 4.00.03jw4). You might have luck with the MacOsX version as well.

share|improve this answer
Nope! It wont work on macos10.6 nor 10.7 – Ali Dec 21 '11 at 14:37

It works fine here. I followed the first description i found via google.

I used the screen version that came with my 10.6.3 Installation: Screen version 4.00.03 (FAU) 23-Oct-06. What version are you using?

Did you create at least two sessions before trying to split by pressing Ctrl-a+Shift-s

share|improve this answer
You don't even have to create two sessions. You can split all day long if you want, and have multiple views of the same session. My issue is that I can't split vertically, like the version that comes preinstalled with Ubuntu. I'm trying to patch that in or something. – evantravers Jul 19 '10 at 13:29

The newer versions of screen->4.01 support this. You can get it from their git repositories over at gnus's savannah and build it yourself.

After having installed screen, try the following sequence of commands

(Ctrl + A) | #Create the vertical split
(Ctrl + Tab) #To move to the new vertical split
(Ctrl + C)   #Create a new window in the vertical split

The build process is a straightforward configure, make and make install routine as I didn't run into any dependency problems.

I did the above with screen-4.1.0 and it works perfectly on Mountain Lion.

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .