Gnu Screen

Multi Display

Gnu Screen is a faily low key application that is quite awesome in usage. Its functionality is grossly underrated, for such a powerful utility.

Taken from User Manual:

Screen is a full-screen window manager that multiplexes a physical terminal between several processes, typically interactive shells. There is a scrollback history buffer for each virtual terminal and a copy-and-paste mechanism that allows the user to move text regions between windows.

When screen is called, it creates a single window with a shell in it and then gets out of your way so that you can use the program as you normally would. Then, at any time, you can create new full-screen windows with other programs in them including more shells, kill the current window, view a list of the active windows, turn output logging on and off, copy text between windows, view the scrollback history, switch between windows, etc. All windows run their programs completely independent of each other. Programs continue to run when their window is currently not visible and even when the whole screen session is detached from the user's terminal.

When a program terminates, screen kills the window that contained it. If this window was in the foreground, the display switches to the previously displayed window; if none are left, screen exits.

If you have used Emacs, its very similar in user interaction, though functionality is very different.

Here are a few commands to get you going. You can find the rest and plenty of info at Gnu Screen Documents.

Start screen in an XTerm:

xterm screen

Auto start screen with XTerm:

xterm -e screen

Kill screen:

C-a C-\

Create a new window:

C-a C-c

Kill current window:

C-a C-k

Switch to next window:

C-a C-n

Switch to previous window:

C-a C-p

Toggle between windows:

C-a C-a

Name a window:

C-a A

Display screen list:

C-a C-w

Display interactive screen list:

C-a C-"

Clear the screen of text:

C-a C

That's all for now.