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The "screen" Terminal Window Manager

Commands and Key-Bindings


Screen Key Bindings

Below is a list of key bindings (short-cuts) for executing screen commands. All keyboard shortcuts start with Ctrl-a (unless the default command character has been changed). Ctrl-a means: while you hold down the control key (Ctrl) you press the a key. The keyboard short-cut Ctrl-a : (Ctrl-a followed pressing the colon key) allows you to enter commands explicitly (by their names.

Ctrl-a ' (Ctrl-a followed by the single quote) prompts for a screen number or name; after entering the number of name screen will switch to the corresponding window; the command name for this key binding is select;
Ctrl-a " (Ctrl-a followed by the double quote) shows a list of available windows; it allows you select one for the windows for display; the command name of this key binding is windowlist -b;
Ctrl-a 0 (Ctrl-a followed by a zero) switches to windows number zero;
Ctrl-a 1 switches to windows number 1;
Ctrl-a 2 switches to windows 2;
Ctrl-a 3 switches to windows 3; etc.
Ctrl-a 9 switches to windows 9;
Ctrl-a tab (Ctrl-a followed by tab) switches focus (moves the curser) to the next region (see Ctrl-a S for creating new regions and Ctrl-a Q for deleting regions); multiple regions allow you to view multiple screen windows simultaneously;
Ctrl-a Ctrl-a (entering the command character twice) switches to the previously displayed window;
Ctrl-a a (the escape character) has the effect of Ctrl-a not being interpreted as a screen command but as the regular Ctrl-a character;
Ctrl-a A is used to give the current screen window a name (title);
Ctrl-a b sends a break character to the window;
Ctrl-a Ctrl-b same as previous;
Ctrl-a B reopens the terminal line and sends a break character;
Ctrl-a c creates a new screen windows, starts a shell process in that window, and switches the display to that windows;
Ctrl-a Ctrl-c same as previous;
Ctrl-a C clears the screen;
Ctrl-a d detaches (disconnects) this screen session from your terminal; the session stays intact and can be resumed later with the -r option;
Ctrl-a Ctrl-d same as previous;
Ctrl-a D D detaches the screen session and logs out;
Ctrl-a f changes the effect of entering flow control characters; when turned off, screen ignores them; the command cycles through the settings: on, off, and auto;
Ctrl-a Ctrl-f same as previous;
Ctrl-a Ctrl-g switches between audible bell (beep) and visual bell (screen flashing reverse display);
Ctrl-a h writes a file with content of the current window; the file name is of the form hardcopy.n, where n is the window number;
Ctrl-a H writes a log of the current window to a file in your home directory; the default file name is of the form screenlog.n, where n is the window number;
Ctrl-a i show information about the current window in the title bar, including flow control status and scrollback buffer size;
Ctrl-a Ctrl-i same as previous;
Ctrl-a k kill the current window; the screen numbers of the other windows are not changes; when you create a new window it will be placed at the position (screen number) of the killed one;
Ctrl-a Ctrl-k same as previous;
Ctrl-a l (lower case "L", not upper case "i") refreshes the current window;
Ctrl-a Ctrl-l same as previous;
Ctrl-a m repeats the last message in the message line (title bar);
Ctrl-a Ctrl-m same as previous;
Ctrl-a M toggles monitoring of the current window; monitoring sends a message to the current window when an activity occurs in another window;
Ctrl-a space (Ctrl-a following a space character) switches to the nex window;
Ctrl-a n same as previous;
Ctrl-a Ctrl-n same as previous;
Ctrl-a N displays the number of title of the current window;
Ctrl-a backspace switches to the previous window;
Ctrl-a p same as previous;
Ctrl-a Ctrl-p same as previous;
Ctrl-a q sends a Ctrl-q (xon) to the current window (flow control on);
Ctrl-a Ctrl-q same as previous;
Ctrl-a Q deletes all regions except for the current region; new regions are created with Ctrl-a S;
Ctrl-a r toggles line wrapping on and off;
Ctrl-a Ctrl-r same as previous;
Ctrl-a s sends a Ctrl-s (xoff) to the current window (flow control off);
Ctrl-a Ctrl-s same as previous;
Ctrl-a S splits the current region into two; Ctrl-a Q removes regions;
Ctrl-a t shows system information, such as time, date, server name, and processor load;
Ctrl-a Ctrl-t same as previous;
Ctrl-a v shows screen version and compilation date;
Ctrl-a Ctrl-v prompts for digraph input (two byte characters);
Ctrl-a w displays a list with the current windows;
Ctrl-a Ctrl-w same as previous;
Ctrl-a W switches between 80 and 132 column display (if enabled in termcap);
Ctrl-a x locks this terminal; make sure the screen password system is set up properly before using this feature;
Ctrl-a Ctrl-x same as previous;
Ctrl-a X kills current region;

You can use command line options ("flags") to connect to suspended screen sessions, remove dead screen sessions, or set various properties of a session.

The PuTTY program is a popular tool for connecting to Linux hosts using (text-based) terminal windows, which are suitable for running screen sessions.

The VNC software system facilitates persistent graphical desktop sessions.

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