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How do you use the "screen" command effectively?
Is it:

  1. Type "screen"

  2. Type in command

  3. Lose connection

  4. Check back on lost session

How do I carry out step 4?

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migrated from Aug 17 '09 at 23:14

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

With screen:

  1. 'screen'
  2. type 'command'
  3. 'ctrl-A-D' to detach from the screen
  4. logoff from the session
  5. 'screen -RD' to reattach to the screen (if there's more than one you'll get a list of current screen sessions and you'll have to supply the session number) from a new session

A simpler method that is useful for commands that leave logfiles or just throw some relevant output and do not need interactivity is nohup:

  1. 'nohup command > logfile &'
  2. logoff from the session
  3. 'tail -f logfile' from a new session
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Screen is really powerful, and allows you to do exactly what you asked.

To see all your sessions, type

screen -list

Once you've identified a screen session to reconnect too, try

screen -dr SCREENID

which will nicely detach and re-attach your session.

You can also do a less nice,

screen -D -R

which will detach and logout remotely, if nesscessary, then reattach, or if that session doesn't exist, it will create it and notify the user. You can add a "-t NAME" to give shells or programs a title.

Within screen, use


to create a new window (So you don't need 4000000 screen sessions to disconnect and reconnect from), and change between them with


Indexing from 0, of course:P

Since you seem a bit unfamiliar with screen, I'm going to assume you could use some other info. I like the following commands, like:

-e xy

Which causes x to be the command character and y to be the character to generate a literal command character. The defaults are Ctrl-a and `a.

There's some more for you here: Screen! It's what's for programmers

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screen -dr to detach and resume the previous screen session.

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A quick Google search found this screen guide

So from step b) you can detach the screen using :

"Ctrl - A" "d"

and then later after the connection has been lost and your connected once again find the screen using :

# screen -ls

and then reattach using :

# screen -r <screen_session_name>

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Here's what I have picked up about using screen (which I, too, have just started doing):

  • screen -S <name> creates a screen named '<name>'. This is quite useful if you want to have several screen sessions going at the same time. For instance, I have one I use normally and one I use for my persistent processes.
  • screen -ls lists the running screens.
  • screen -r <name> resumes a detached screen. If the screen is already attached somewhere, use screen -dr <name>.

Also, when you start using screen, whenever you plan to leave, press ^a d (= ctrl-a followed by a d) to detach the screen you're currently running. It can then be resumed later.

In addition, I can recommend taking a look at ^a ? for a list of the different commands you can use while inside of a screen.

The most important of these (to me) are:

  • ^a c to create a new window in your screen session.
  • ^a ^a to switch between the two last used windows.
  • ^a " to list the current windows in your session.
  • ^a Esc to scroll in your screen buffer.
  • ^a k to kill the current window.
  • ^a x to lock your screen session, in case you need to leave your computer and don't want people to mess with it.
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you can also set up your environment to log you in and start screen right off the bat. There are many ways to do it. I chose to add this to my .bashrc file.

# screen management
if [ $SSH_TTY ] && [ ! $WINDOW ]; then
  SCREENLIST=`screen -ls | grep 'Attached'`
  if [ $? -eq "0" ]; then
    echo -e "Screen is already running and attached:\n ${SCREENLIST}"
    screen -U -R
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You'd be looking for

screen -x
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Step 4 is "screen -r"

If you got disconnected really forcefully, you might need to do "screen -r -d", to force it to disconnect from your old ssh session, which it thinks is still open.

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 For windows system

 Open putty 
 then login in server

If you want to see screen in Console then you have to write command

 Screen -ls

if you have to access the screen then you have to use below command

 screen -x screen id
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