BreadCrumbs: Screen


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Why can't I re-attach to my session after a lost connection?

In some cases, your previous screen session may not have detached properly when you lost your connection. If this happens, you can detach your session manually.

To see your existing screen sessions, enter:

screen -list

This will display a list of your current screen sessions. For instance, if you had one attached and one dead screen, you would see:

There are screens on:
 25542.pts-28.hostname (Dead ???)
 1636.pts-21.hostname (Attached)
Remove dead screens with 'screen -wipe'.
2 Sockets in /tmp/screens/S-username.

To detach an attached screen, enter:

screen -D

If you have more than one attached screen, you can specify a particular screen to detach. For example, to detach the screen in the above example, you would enter:

screen -D 1636.pts-21.hostname

Once you've done this, you can resume the screen by entering the screen -r command.

(In the above example, the dead screen isn't causing problems, but you should probably enter the screen -wipe command to get rid of it.)

Default Key Bindings

As mentioned, each screen command consists of a "C-a" followed by one other character. For your convenience, all commands that are bound to lower-case letters are also bound to their control character counterparts (with the exception of "C-a a"; see below), thus, "C-a c" as well as "C-a C-c" can be used to create a window. See section "CUSTOMIZATION" for a description of the command.

The following table shows the default key bindings:

C-a '       (select)      Prompt for a window name or number to  switch to.
C-a "       (windowlist -b) Present  a list of all windows for selection.
C-a 0       (select 0)
...           ...
C-a 9       (select 9)
C-a -       (select -) Switch to window number 0  -  9,  or  to  the blank window.
C-a tab     (focus)    Switch the input focus to the next region.
C-a C-a   (other)    Toggle  to  the  window displayed previously. Note that this binding defaults to  the  command  character  typed twice, unless overrid- den.  For instance, if  you  use  the  option "-e]x", this command becomes "]]".

C-a a       (meta)        Send  the  command character (C-a) to window. See escape command.

C-a A       (title)       Allow the user to enter a name for  the  cur- rent window.

C-a b
C-a C-b     (break)       Send a break to window.

C-a B       (pow_break)   Reopen the terminal line and send a break.

C-a c
C-a C-c     (screen)      Create  a  new window with a shell and switch to that window.

C-a C       (clear)       Clear the screen.

C-a d
C-a C-d     (detach)      Detach screen from this terminal.

C-a D D     (pow_detach)  Detach and logout.

C-a f
C-a C-f     (flow)        Toggle flow on, off or auto.

C-a F       (fit)         Resize the window to the current region size.

C-a C-g     (vbell)       Toggles screen's visual bell mode.

C-a h       (hardcopy)    Write a hardcopy of the current window to the file "hardcopy.n".

C-a H       (log)         Begins/ends logging of the current window  to the file "screenlog.n".

C-a i
C-a C-i     (info)        Show info about this window.

C-a k
C-a C-k     (kill)        Destroy current window.

C-a l
C-a C-l     (redisplay)   Fully refresh current window.

C-a L       (login)       Toggle  this  windows  login  slot. Available only if screen is configured  to  update  the utmp database.

C-a m
C-a C-m     (lastmsg)     Repeat the last message displayed in the mes-
						 sage line.

C-a M       (monitor)     Toggles monitoring of the current window.

C-a space
C-a n
C-a C-n     (next)        Switch to the next window.

C-a N       (number)      Show the number (and title)  of  the  current window.

C-a backspace
C-a h
C-a p
C-a C-p     (prev)        Switch to the previous window (opposite of C-a n).

C-a q
C-a C-q     (xon)         Send a control-q to the current window.

C-a Q       (only)        Delete all regions but the current one.

C-a r
C-a C-r     (wrap)        Toggle the current window's line-wrap setting (turn  the current window's automatic margins on and off).

C-a s
C-a C-s     (xoff)        Send a control-s to the current window.

C-a S       (split)       Split the current region into two new ones.
C-a t
C-a C-t     (time)        Show system information.

C-a v       (version)     Display the version and compilation date.

C-a C-v     (digraph)     Enter digraph.

C-a w
C-a C-w     (windows)     Show a list of window.

C-a W       (width)       Toggle 80/132 columns.

C-a x
C-a C-x     (lockscreen)  Lock this terminal.

C-a X       (remove)      Kill the current region.

C-a z
C-a C-z     (suspend)     Suspend screen.   Your  system  must  support BSD-style job-control.

C-a Z       (reset)       Reset  the virtual terminal to its "power-on" values.

C-a .       (dumptermcap) Write out a ".termcap" file.

C-a ?       (help)        Show key bindings.

C-a C-\     (quit)        Kill all windows and terminate screen.

C-a :       (colon)       Enter command line mode.

C-a [
C-a C-[
C-a esc     (copy)        Enter copy/scrollback mode.

C-a ]       (paste .)     Write the contents of the paste buffer to the stdin queue of the current window.

C-a {
C-a }       (history)     Copy and paste a previous (command) line.

C-a >       (writebuf)    Write paste buffer to a file.

C-a <       (readbuf)     Reads the screen-exchange file into the paste buffer.

C-a =       (removebuf)   Removes the file used by C-a < and C-a >.

C-a ,       (license)     Shows where screen comes from, where it  went to and why you can use it.

C-a _       (silence)     Start/stop  monitoring the current window for inactivity.

C-a *       (displays)    Show a listing of all currently attached displays.
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