Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

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

When scrolling up through the history of screen session with ctrl+a ESC (the output in terminal), it only goes back a small number of lines.

How do I configure screen to keep (much) longer history? I'd like to configure this globally and permanently, not per session.

share|improve this question
This is going to depend on your window manager. Are you using Gnome? KDE? – Scott Wilson Mar 29 '12 at 13:22
@ScottWilson can you elaborate about the relation with the other window managers? – amotzg Mar 29 '12 at 13:44
up vote 2 down vote accepted

You can add

defscrollback <numberOfLines> 

to your $HOME/.screenrc file or to the more global /etc/screenrc

See the CUSTOMIZATION section of the screen manual page for more details about using this command, those files, and the files precedence.

Ubuntu screen's man page:

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.