Linux Terminal Screen Commands

By | April 28, 2013


Linux screen options allow to control a terminal between several processes. You can take screen, thanks to a task running on a PC in the process detaching from terminal to which it is attached and repeat this same task from another terminal or PC. Screen interprets all typed commands via Shell.

Screen Options

• -4 Use IPv4.
• -6 Use IPv6.
• -a Force all capabilities into each window’s termcap.
• -A -[r|R] Adapt all windows to the new display width & height.
• -c file Read configuration file instead of ‘.screenrc’.
• -d (-r) Detach the elsewhere running screen (and reattach here).
• -dmS name Start as daemon: Screen session in detached mode.
• -D (-r) Detach and logout remote (and reattach here).
• -D -RR Do whatever is needed to get a screen session.
• -e xy Change command characters.
• -f Flow control on, -fn = off, -fa = auto.
• -h lines Set the size of the scrollback history buffer.
• -i Interrupt output sooner when flow control is on.
• -l Login mode on (update /var/run/utmp), -ln = off.
• -list or -ls. Do nothing, just list our SockDir.
• -L Turn on output logging.
• -m ignore $STY variable, do create a new screen session.
• -O Choose optimal output rather than exact vt100 emulation.
• -p window Preselect the named window if it exists.
• -q Quiet startup. Exits with non-zero return code if unsuccessful.
• -r Reattach to a detached screen process.
• -R Reattach if possible, otherwise start a new session.
• -s shell Shell to execute rather than $SHELL.
• -S sockname Name this session <pid>.sockname instead of <pid>.<tty>.<host>.
• -t title Set title. (window’s name).
• -T term Use term as $TERM for windows, rather than “screen”.
• -U Tell screen to use UTF-8 encoding.
• -v Print.
• -wipe Do nothing, just clean up SockDir.
• -x Attach to a not detached screen. (Multi display mode).
• -X Execute <cmd> as a screen command in the specified session.

Screen Log-in

• Loin to Screen
• Type the following command to log in to – “Screen”
• screen

• Detach a session
• To detach a session “screen” and return to the shell connection, just type:
• CTRL- a d
• Note: “a” and “d” are small not capital “A” and “D”.

• Resuming a session
• To return to session, just type:
• screen -r

• Logging Off “screen”
• To log off from “screen”, just type:
• CTRL-a \

• Split into two terminals
• Ctrl+a S split terminal horizontally
• Ctrl+a | split terminal vertically

• Roll on the new window
• Press CTRL-a TAB until you are in the new blank window, then press CTRL –a c to create a new window.

• Open a new terminal
• CTRL –a  c

• To select a particular window
• CTRL –a

• Resize a window
• CTRL-a: resize + n
• Or to reduce
• CTRL-a: resize – n
• Or to put all the windows the same size:
• CTRL-a: resize =


Screen options are particularly useful for cPanel VPS & Linux Dedicated Server users, as they get root access to their machines.