Screen is a terminal multiplexer, which allows a user to access multiple separate terminal sessions inside a single terminal window or remote terminal session (such as when using SSH).


Install the screen package can be installed on Ubuntu using any method.

Starting with the Jaunty release, the screen-profiles package (later renamed Byobu) provides advanced features such as status bars, clocks, and notifiers. The package can also be manually installed on previous Ubuntu releases.


Screen can be started by typing


in a terminal. Press Enter after reading the introductory text.

Virtual terminals in Screen can be manipulated by pressing the Ctrl+A key combination, and subsequently pressing a key to execute one of the commands given below:

  • c creates a new virtual console

  • n switches to the next available virtual console

  • p switches back to the previous virtual console

  • " lists all available virtual consoles and their assigned numbers

  • hitting a number key brings the corresponding virtual console to the foreground
  • Esc lets you scroll back and forth in your terminal output

  • d detatches the current screen sessions and brings you back to the normal terminal

When a Screen session is detached, the processes that were running inside it aren't stopped. You can re-attach a detached session by typing

screen -r

in a terminal

To remove the annoying copyright notice at startup, edit your /etc/screenrc with

gksudo gedit /etc/screenrc

and remove the hash which begins the line

#startup_message off

Save the file, and you will not see it again Big Grin :)

See Also

Screen (last edited 2017-09-03 18:00:07 by ckimes)