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screen is a tool that's best explained as a kind of session manager for the command line. It lets you do things like:

  • disconnect from a command-line session, but still leave it (and any commands in it) running
  • reconnect to a session, even after logging out and logging in again
  • share a session with multiple people (multiuser mode), so that everybody can see what you is doing -- for instance, for teaching folks how to do something

Command cribnotes

To give screen a command, first type the screen "command key". By default, it's ctrl-a.

   c       create new window 
   0-9     change to window 0-9
   ctrl-a  toggle back to last seen window 
   n       next window
   p       previous window
   "       show a list of all windows
   A       give the current window a name
   K       kill the current window
   ctrl-\  (or :quit) kill all windows & quit
   d       detach -- drop out to the shell, but leave your screen session running
   ?       help

Multiuser Mode