Screen » Usage notes

In this section, I document only the Screen commands that I use interactively.

Screen » Usage notes » Overview

My use of Screen couldn't be more simplistic. I only use the most basic commands to multiplex any number of virtual terminals in the one parent terminal and that's it.

Since I don't use the "splitting" features, I like to call Screen "windows" "virtual terminals".

I have one permanent virtual terminal, declared in my .screenrc:

In my home directory. I rarely use this, instead preferring to open a new (temporary) terminal, do what I need to do and then close it.

If I want to work on a particular project, I simply open a new virtual terminal, rename it and cd it to the right git repo.

Screen » Usage notes » Routinely used commands

Ctrl-a a


Send a Ctrl-a to the current virtual terminal.

Ctrl-a c


Make a new virtual terminal and switch to it.

I like to use one virtual terminal per project I'm currently working on.

Ctrl-a A


Rename the current virtual terminal.

Ctrl-a k


Kill the current virtual terminal.

Ctrl-a w


Show a list of virtual terminals and their associated digits.
The current one is indicated with a star.

Ctrl-a digit

select digit

Switch to the virtual terminal with the associated digit.

Ctrl-a n, Ctrl-a p

next, prev

Switch to the next or previous virtual terminal, according to digit order.

Screen » Usage notes » Rarely used commands

Ctrl-a :


I only ever use this to invoke the quit command, which kills Screen.

(The default keybinding is really hard (or impossible?) to type on my configuration and I haven't yet gotten around to assigning a new keybinding for it, but it's typically just once at the end of the day so...)

Screen » My config

Here's my .screenrc file (see it on github). It's fairly trivial since my use of screen is pretty basic.