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Screen, a terminals best friend

Posted by slayton on May 31, 2009

One of my favorite things about using linux is the terminal.  One thing that annoyed me when I started using linux was if I started an application in the terminal I had to leave the terminal running; if I closed the terminal the running application would also close. The simple solution to this problem is a little appliction called screen.

Next time you run an application in a terminal start it with screen:

screen <application_name>


Then you can close the terminal and the application will keep running.  If you want to regain control of the terminal running the application use the following command:

screen -R

If more then one screen session is running you’ll get a prompt like this:

There are several suitable screens on:
18771.pts-7.stockton-mini    (05/31/2009 07:21:39 PM)    (Attached)
18613.pts-4.stockton-mini    (05/31/2009 07:21:11 PM)    (Attached)
18551.pts-0.stockton-mini    (05/31/2009 07:21:08 PM)    (Detached)
8005.pts-0.stockton-mini    (05/31/2009 12:57:11 PM)    (Detached)
Type “screen [-d] -r [pid.]tty.host” to resume one of them.

In that case simply pick the session you want to resume and enttypeer the PID following the -R, use tab to complete the line and you’re all set.

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