GNU screen

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GNU Screen is a GNU utility which allows the user to emulate a terminal within a terminal. While the advantage of this is not immediately apparent, screen allows the user to perform several additional tasks over a normal terminal.

Features of screen include:

  1. Detaching sessions from the terminal to let them run in the background and be recovered at a later time;
  2. Accessing the same session from multiple terminals (or multiple computers);
  3. Running more than one session in a terminal, in either full screen or split-screen mode;
  4. Allowing multiple users to view or use the same session, including access controls.

There are many other features - more documentation can be found in the screen (1) man page.

Tiny GNU Screen tutorial

This is a tiny GNU Screen tutorial to show how to use programs like irssi and Lynx in one terminal. First start irssi in your shell by typing:

 screen irssi

now in irssi you can type:

 Ctrl+A, C

this will give you new a shell (terminal window); irssi continues to run in the background. Now you can start lynx (or any other program) in the new shell by typing:

 lynx http://www.google.com

Now you can cycle between these two terminals by pressing:

 Ctrl+A, space

Now if you want to log out and you want programs still to run in the background you type:

 Ctrl+A, D

This will detach your screen. irssi and lynx will now run in the background and you can log out from the shell. If you log back in to your shell and you want to see your irssi and lynx again (in the state where you left them), resume your screen session by typing

 screen -r

When you want to quit irssi or lynx, just exit them normally (in lynx press Q twice and in irssi write /quit).

This was just a tiny GNU Screen tutorial, showing only small set of GNU Screen features.

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