Is it possible to change the name of a GNU screen session? Say I called started it with "screen -S foo" and I want to rename it to bar.

  • 16
    @l0b0 That's about naming. This is about renaming.
    – moinudin
    Aug 9, 2012 at 18:06

3 Answers 3


If there are several sessions, use:

screen -S 8890.foo -X sessionname bar
  • 9
    This is a better answer than the one above because it deals with the general case of multiple sessions
    – doon
    May 21, 2013 at 17:21
  • 2
    This is the best answer
    – Coc
    Dec 3, 2013 at 10:18
  • 2
    get the actual session name with screen -ls as mentioned in the other answers
    – swiesend
    Feb 13, 2019 at 3:39
  • This is a much better answer, which is clear and simple. Thank you so much.
    – Mars Lee
    Apr 2, 2019 at 13:45
  • use -R is better to find the full default session name rather than -S (type manually)
    – dtlam26
    Oct 25, 2021 at 7:59


C-a :sessionname mySessionName


This is,

  1. Attach to the session in question.

  2. Press Ctrl+A.

  3. Type :sessionname mySessionName – yes, the first colon is needed there, no extra spaces.

  4. Type Enter.


$ screen -S foo
[detached from 8890.foo]
$ screen -ls
There is a screen on:
    8890.foo    (22/12/11 18:39:22) (Detached)
1 Socket in /var/run/screen/S-user.

$ screen -r

Ctrl+A:sessionname bars

[detached from 8890.bars]
$ screen -ls
There is a screen on:
    8890.bars   (22/12/11 18:39:21) (Detached)
1 Socket in /var/run/screen/S-user.


Renaming without attaching

Screen's -X switch lets you rename a session without attaching it.

$ screen -X sessionname foobars
$ screen -ls
There is a screen on:
    8890.foobars    (22/12/11 18:39:22) (Detached)
1 Socket in /var/run/screen/S-user.


Alternatively, you can specifically target a screen session by its existing name or id (useful if there are already multiple sessions):

$ screen -ls
There is a screen on:
    8890.foo        (02/23/2015 18:39:22)   (Detached)
    5136.barfoos    (02/23/2015 18:39:22)   (Detached)
1 Socket in /var/run/screen/S-user.

$ screen -S 8890.foo -X sessionname foobars
$ screen -ls
There is a screen on:
    8890.foobars    (02/23/2015 18:39:22)   (Detached)
    5136.barfoos    (02/23/2015 18:39:22)   (Detached)
1 Socket in /var/run/screen/S-user.


This renames the current window title within a session, as displayed in the window list when you press Ctrl - a+":

  • While in a screen session press Ctrl - a + A (it's an uppercase a, i.e. Shift+a), type the new name, and press Enter

Now when you do Ctrl - a+" the name you set will appear in the window list instead of bash.

NOTE: This does not answer the original question, but I am not deleting the answer since apparently some of the visitors to this thread searched for a way to rename the window title, and not the actual session as the OP asked.

  • 6
    I think the question was about renaming the session, but this answer renames windows. Sep 9, 2014 at 9:48

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