Working with screen

You can use screen on the remote server to keep programs running even when you're not online.

Installing screen

If not already there, you can install it to Ubuntu/Debian based system using:

sudo apt-get install screen

Start a shell in screen

You can start a named screen using the following command:

screen -S work-thing

Names help to organize your screens.

Detaching from a screen

You can detach from a running screen using keyboard ctrl-a and d. Every screen command starts with a ctrl-a and is followed by another action key.

Listing sessions

You can also list your screen sessions:

$ screen -list
There are screens on:   (04/05/20 19:58:20) (Detached)   (04/05/20 19:58:18) (Detached)
2 Sockets in /run/screen/S-bob.

Opening screen session

If there's only one detached session, you can open it using:

screen -r

Opening previous screen session by id

screen -r 10812

Opening a previous screen session by name

screen -r work-thing

Opening an active screen session

Sometimes you may have left the screen session open. You can take over another session with the -d argument.

screen -d -r work-thing

Creating new screen windows

You can open multiple screen windows inside a screen session.

To create a new session use the command ctrl-a and c.

Moving between screen windows

To move between sessions you can use ctrl-a followed by the number between 0 and 9.

E.g. to move to second screen session, use issue ctrl-a followed by 1. The first sessions is 0.

Accidentally opened another screen inside another screen

In case you end up having a screen open inside another screen window, you can still issue commands to it using multiple a 's.

E.g. the ctrl-a, followed by another a and d would detach the inner screen.