Using GNU-Screen for a long time.

C-a 1 2 n p

to navigate to other tabs. This works till 9. I often have 10, 11 etc. Is there any way to go to them quickly ?

Currently, i have to do: C-a 9, C-a n which is quite a pain. Thanks.


4 Answers 4


try to use
(C-a ")
Display all windows in a table for visual window selection. The desired window can be selected via the standard movement keys (see Movement) and activated via the return key. If the -b option is given, screen will switch to the blank window before presenting the list, so that the current window is also selectable. The -m option changes the order of the windows, instead of sorting by window numbers screen uses its internal most-recently-used list.
You can use binding to access windows above 9. here is the link text

  • Strangely, I am able to do this now. Until now, upon doing Ca-", i was unable to move down the titles. Thanks. Can you tell me what the C-a - (minus) window is. I get a blank window that I am unable to do anything on. I can only move away from it. Earlier i had to kill it to make it go away, now i see that it vanishes when i move to next tab.
    – rahulk
    Sep 17, 2010 at 4:47
  • 1
    (C-a -) (select -) switch to window 0 or to blank window. Updated answer.
    – zaynyatyi
    Sep 17, 2010 at 8:09
  • Thanks for the link text. that was great. However, what is this blank window. I am unable to do anything with it. In earlier versions, i had to kill it to dismiss it. Now, thankfully, it goes away if i change to another tab. My question is -- what is this blank window. WHat purpose ?
    – rahulk
    Sep 17, 2010 at 12:49
  • You can see there your windowlist when using C-a ". But i really don't know why devs left access for it trought C-a -.
    – zaynyatyi
    Sep 17, 2010 at 13:30

You can also use (C-a '), and gnu screen will prompt "Switch to window:", where you can enter as many digits as you wish.


According to screen's manual page, you can add the following lines to your ~/.screenrc file:

bind -c demo1 0 select 10
bind -c demo1 1 select 11
bind -c demo1 2 select 12
bindkey "^B" command -c demo1

makes C-b 0 select window 10, C-b 1 window 11, etc. Alternatively, you can use:

bind -c demo2 0 select 10
bind -c demo2 1 select 11
bind -c demo2 2 select 12
bind - command -c demo2

makes C-a - 0 select window 10, C-a - 1 window 11, etc.


I was going to suggest something like the bindkey-solution that was already posted to this thread, but I would bindkey to...

Oh, it seems that I can't write the "control character" normally, as is Finnish, and most non US-ASCII keyboards, have that character work so you can write a character like e with that shape on top by writing e after that key. To show just that character you press space after it, but on this page the space just scrolls down (Saka key add-on binding) when it shouldn't do that while on textinput field. Apparently this textfield works funny for some reason I couldn't figure out with FireFox Inspector...)

Well, I just typed it in search bar, painted it and now I can mid-click paste it, so I would

bindkey "^1" command -c ten
bind -c ten 1 select 11
bindkey "^2" command -c zwandzig
bind -c zwandzig 0 select 20

I left binding to 10 off, but it would be consistent to do so even if you're like me and have binded 0 to select 10 - Since it feels simpler, I would never do "^1 0" to switch to 10 anyway, so I left it out...

I'd just like to bind to Tab key - so I could C-a Tab to circle the focus... Maybe that buoybu, or whatever, that acts as middle man between and apparently as whole terminal emulator in itself, as it can write/draw characters on top of screen or tmux - it has it's own bindings and can do stuff that you'd have to script and bind command to run that script which then sends commands to screen/tmux... I don't know how customizable it is, but one could write a perl script just create the simplest PTY to run screen, basically making it pass through any input and output to underlying terminal, except if it captured C-a and Tab, in which case it could send 'o' instead of Tab as it's bound to focus (I think it was default, but it may be my own binding - I do define it in .screenrc, but it's not the first default binding that I've put there. Other than that, non US-ascii alphabets in UTF-8 are not possible either to bind to, I presume?

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