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What I would like to accomplish is mouse wheel scrolling behavior that I'm used to in a regular ssh session. In bash prompt mouse wheel should scroll my terminal output, and inside less/vim - the alternate buffer they use, so that on exit nothing remains from the text shown inside less. If I disable alternate buffer capabilites in .screenrc, like this:

termcapinfo xterm ti@:te@

then it is also disabled for vim/less and mouse wheel scrolling will not be handled by them. Enabling screen's internal alternate buffer emulation, like this:

altscreen on

only helps in restoring bash output after less/vim exit. Not in mouse wheel scrolling inside them.

So, is there any screen option, maybe in some screen fork/alternative that disables usage of alternate buffer by screen itself?

  • did you find a solution to this issue? Please post! :) – tlund Mar 29 '16 at 0:19
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You may want to look at using tmux instead of screen (https://tmux.github.io). Tmux has xterm mouse support so you can use the scroll wheel to scroll through your buffer without having to disable alternate buffers.

Note that tmux's default config uses ctrl-b as a prefix but you can easily change it to ctrl-a and also add screen-like bindings to make it easier. Tons of examples of that online such as http://blog.obnox.de/tmux-with-screen-like-key-bindings/

Make sure to add mouse on to the config for xterm mouse support to work. As an added bonus it will also let you click between windows and panes and use the mouse to resize them.

Tmux also has a number of other benefits especially vertical splits (which I guess have now finally been added to screen) and the ability to have many splits (panes) in one window.

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