Basic screen command usage and examples
Screen is a very useful command that offers the ability to use multiple shell windows (sessions) from a single SSH session. When the session is detached or there is a network disruption, the process that is started in a screen session will still run and you can re-attach to the screen session at any time. This also comes in handy if you want to run a long process persistently or connect to shell sessions from multiple locations.
In this article, we will show the basics of installing and using screen on a Linux VPS.
How to install screen
Screen comes preinstalled on some of the popular distributions. You can check if it is installed on your server using the following command
screen -v Screen version 4.00.03 (FAU)
If you do not have screen to the VPS, you can easily install it using the package manager provided by the OS.
yum -y install screen
apt-get -y install screen
How to start a screen session
You can start screen by typing ‘screen’ at the command prompt and a new screen session will be started which looks the same as the command prompt
It is a good practice to start screen sessions with descriptive names so you can easily remember which process is running in the session. To create a new session with a session name run the following command
screen -S name
and replace ‘name’ with a meaningful name for your session.
Detach from screen session
To detach from the current screen session you can press ‘Ctrl-A‘ and ‘d‘ on your keyboard. All screen sessions will still be active and you can re-attach to them at any time later.
Reattach to screen session
If you have detached from a session or your connection is interrupted for some reason, you can easily re-attach by executing the following command:
If you have multiple screen sessions you can list them with ‘ls’
screen -ls There are screens on: 7880.session (Detached) 7934.session2 (Detached) 7907.session1 (Detached) 3 Sockets in /var/run/screen/S-root.
In our example, we have three active screen sessions. So, if you want to restore the session ‘session2’ you can execute
screen -r 7934
or you can use the screen name
screen -r -S session2
Terminate screen session
There are several ways to terminate the screen session. You can do it by pressing ‘Ctrl‘ + ‘d‘ on your keyboard or use the ‘exit’ command line command.
To see all useful features of the screen command you can check screen’s man page.
man screen NAME screen - screen manager with VT100/ANSI terminal emulation SYNOPSIS screen [ -options ] [ cmd [ args ] ] screen -r [[pid.]tty[.host]] screen -r sessionowner/[[pid.]tty[.host]]
Of course, you don’t have to do any of this if you use one of our Linux VPS hosting services, in which case you can simply ask our expert Linux admins to do this for you. They are available 24×7 and will take care of your request immediately.
PS. If you liked this post please share it with your friends on the social networks using the buttons below or simply leave a comment in the comment section. Thanks.