My experience with using GNU screen

In my B.Tech, we were taught about using screen command. But at that time, I did not realise the importance of that. Because, I used to open 1 connection to server, write code/compile/execute in that terminal only. But, now I open more than 5 connections. Last week, I read a small tutorial about screen and felt the importance of it. Screen is used for terminal multiplexing. We open only one terminal connection to server. In that terminal, we can use screen to create multiple virtual windows. Since we can detach/attach screens, we can also use it as remote desktop for linux.

In linux, screen is already installed. So, I have started using it directly. In my solaris machine, it is not installed. So, I have downloaded its package from sunfreeware site and installed it. When I started screen, I was not able to use backspace on command line. I could not find any clues on net. But, when I connected to that machine using ssh, that problem was solved. After that when I opened a file using vim in screen, I was not able to use arrow keys. Colors were also not according to default vim colorscheme. I have searched on internet.. but could not find any clues. I knew, it was the problem with TERM & TERMCAP. So, I have exited screen and started it again with TERM=screen screen. Then, I could use arrowkeys and colors were also fine. But at some places, vim was not showing code properly. Again.. I wasted lot of time for searching on the net. After getting frustrated with putty and terminal types, I connected to that solaris machine from my linux box and started screen with the same command [TERM=screen screen]. Luckily, then, everything in screen was working fine. Still, I dont know why I was getting problems if I directly connect to solaris from putty and use screen.



  1. Prashanth said,

    December 5, 2006 at 8:09 am

    Hi ra,
    there is a .screenrc file (similar to .vimrc) for screen settings. Did u try changing that? Most of my screen problems were solved by modifying the .screenrc file. I have a good settings file. Let me know if u need it.
    Anyway, I guess u can find one by googling too.

  2. gigel said,

    February 27, 2007 at 11:51 am

    please post the link to your screenrc

  3. DP said,

    February 28, 2007 at 7:10 am

    Hi, I am using the .screenrc file given by Prashanth. You can download it from . You have rename it to .screenrc.

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