I want to execute a command in a new screen session (and detach from it) but I don't get it to work. I tried to start a process in a new screen session and detach from it with this:

screen -d -m mycommmand

But when I try to attach to that screen session with

screen -r

I get the message "There is no screen to be resumed". I also tried to start a command in a new screen session with

screen mycommand

When I do that, a new screen session starts but the command doesn't get executed.

The command is a .sh script that starts a game server but the game server doesn't start.

[Edit] Because some people asked for the exact command, here it is: It's a bash script that should start a minecraft server in a seperate screen session.


Here is the .sh script:

cd "/home/tim/minecraft/survivalServer"
screen -S "minecraft-server-1-14-4" -m -d /home/tim/java/bin/java -Xmx4096M -Xms1024M -jar /home/tim/minecraft/survivalServer/minecraft_server.1.14.4.jar nogui

Now, the problem is, that when I run the script it fails to create the new screen session. Why is that?

Help is much appreciated. Thanks

  • Try it without the -d and see what happens. I'm guessing that something is causing mycommand to exit prematurely.
    – TexasDex
    Jul 25, 2019 at 21:17
  • leaving out the -d changes nothing. The command doesn't get executed.
    – Tim Kluge
    Jul 26, 2019 at 13:48
  • Does the command without screen (i.e. /home/tim/java/bin/java -Xmx4096M -Xms1024M -jar /home/tim/minecraft/survivalServer/minecraft_server.1.14.4.jar nogui) start the server as expected? Jul 29, 2019 at 5:49
  • No, it only starts the server without the screen command. Like I said I dont know why but the screen command doesnt seem to do what it should do...
    – Tim Kluge
    Jul 29, 2019 at 9:09

1 Answer 1


The problem is that you are trying to launch a nested, detached screen instance inside a detached screen instance. Your script contains the line:

screen -S "minecraft-server-1-14-4" -m -d /home/tim/java/bin/java -Xmx4096M -Xms1024M -jar /home/tim/minecraft/survivalServer/minecraft_server.1.14.4.jar nogui

This launches screen, names the screen session minecraft-server-1-14-4 then launches minecraft and detaches. But you are also attempting to run screen -d -m ./startserver.sh. So, before the screen session is created in the script you are already running the script inside a detached screen session. This... doesn't tend to work so well.

It's functionally the same as this:

wolferz@khaos ~ $ screen -m -d screen -S 'mysession' -m -d top
wolferz@khaos ~ $ screen -r
There is a screen on:
        24850.mysession (07/24/2019 10:47:46 PM)        (Dead ???)
Remove dead screens with 'screen -wipe'.
There is no screen to be resumed.

What you want to do is run the script directly. Just do ./startserver.sh. That should drop you back at the prompt. You can then attach to your minecraft console by doing screen -r as normal.

  • I was going to say this and more, but I won't duplicate your answer. The "more" part is: in my tests screen -m -d top is different than screen -d -m top; the latter seems right but the OP has -m -d in the script. I wonder if it adds to the problem. Jul 26, 2019 at 22:46
  • I attempted this with -d -m as well. Similar result (no dead session... but also no detached session). The screen manpage specifically shows -d -m and -D -m. But there is definitely a difference between the two orders. I suspect that the -m flag gets ignored if -d is first. Jul 26, 2019 at 22:51
  • Yes, with nested screens I get no difference, it doesn't work either way. I meant non-nested. Let's wait for the OP, maybe your solution is enough. My point: if it's not, the OP should try -d -m in the script. Jul 26, 2019 at 22:55
  • Hmm, good point. Jul 26, 2019 at 22:56
  • The thing is, I'm trying to start the script directly but it doesnt create the new screen session...
    – Tim Kluge
    Jul 27, 2019 at 7:43

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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