A Quick Intro Screen on Linux

One of my “power tools” for Linux is screen, a do-it-all terminal interface. I use it constantly, keeping my session open as I log in and out and travel from place to place. So I was glad to see Eric Wright’s tutorial on the capabilities of this Swiss Army Command!

For fans of RDP on Windows, one of the great utilities that you have available on Linux is one called Screen. Using Screen lets you start up a terminal session within your Linux host that can be left persistently in the background for you to to re-enter at another time from another location.

Screen Basics

This is even available on a Mac, but for my example, I’m using an Ubuntu Linux server. Launch a Screen session and give it a name so that you will be able to easily identify it as you reconnect later on. This is done using the screen -S session name command:



Use the Ctrl-A C sequence. That means to use the Ctrl-A followed by the C key. This will bring you back to an interactive shell.  If we run a who command, you can see the there are two active sessions:


In order to switch back and forth between the different Screen sessions, use the Ctrl-A sequence. Sometimes you will find that you have to tap the key sequence more than once to get the sessions to switch. Let’s try it a couple of times to see that you can go back and forth from your vi window to your interactive bash shell.

Pretty cool, right!

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About the author

Stephen Foskett

Stephen Foskett is an active participant in the world of enterprise information technology, currently focusing on enterprise storage, server virtualization, networking, and cloud computing. He organizes the popular Tech Field Day event series for Gestalt IT and runs Foskett Services. A long-time voice in the storage industry, Stephen has authored numerous articles for industry publications, and is a popular presenter at industry events. He can be found online at TechFieldDay.com, blog.FoskettS.net, and on Twitter at @SFoskett.

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