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

I use GNU Screen all the time in OS X, primarily running on the server side of my SSH connections in order to maintain persistence, while multitasking. The beauty is that if I get disconnected, all of my virtual screens get resumed, with almost no work. I'm sure we all know this.

My constant complaint is not being able to scrollback in each of my virtual screens with Shift+PgUp and my touchpad. I'm aware of the settings change that fixes this problem if you don't switch screens within a session, but each screen doesn't maintain its own separate history, like tabs in Terminal. Obviously, in order to do this, screen would have to store a ton of data and pipe it over your connection every time you switch. Wasteful, and the latency would be awful.

What would work is some sort of intelligent client-side client to the remote instance of Screen or tmux, something that intelligently manages the scrollback of each virtual screen separately. Is there such a solution out there? Heck, even a good way of simply locally managing multiple ssh sessions to the same server, each with Screen running (with only one virtual screen) would be a great improvement, but only if it Just Works the way screen -d -r does, but I can't think of a way to make this transparent. Another potential option would be a terminal program that could automatically make SSH connections with a new named single-screen screen/tmux session, and remember session sets so that they could all easily be resumed.

share|improve this question
screen maintains scrollback buffers for each window, you can access them in copy-mode: Ctrl-a [ and then Ctrl-u for page up. – Thor Sep 7 '12 at 7:36
Re "screen would have to store data and pipe it over connection" -- screen is about terminals, not connections. What would be cool, though, is if the local terminal knew you were running screen and wired scrollbar events to screen page up. – ckhan Sep 7 '12 at 8:09
iTerm2 ( has some wacky built-in tmux support ( -- maybe that will help? I use iTerm2, but not the built-in tmux; the built-in limitations were more cumbersome to me than the tmux "limitations" it was trying to overcome. – Joe Casadonte Sep 8 '12 at 0:04
Hmm, might be worth a look, but reading the wiki, it seems like it's far from would think this is a problem easily solved. – acjay Sep 9 '12 at 5:13

Your Answer


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

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.