26 Comments

  1. Nocman

    Forget about screen, learn tmux.

    • That’s a bit unfair. Screen works fine for most use cases, tmux is more powerful overall but forgetting about screen wouldn’t do anybody any good. There are articles on the Fedora Magazine about tmux already and knowing about screen too may be useful for some people.
      I don’t know (but I could guess) how most people would feel if they saw something like “forget about C, learn C++”.

      • Maciej

        It’s more like: “forget about Fortran”, screen is obsolete and tmux is just better tool in every way. The only use case for knowing screen is some embedded device without ability for installing additional tools.

        • JamesP

          Nothing like it, screen does the job. Proper users should be spending their time in emacs anyway.

          • Don’t start editor wars in the comments please. 😉

            • Chris

              you’re a very nice and well spoken moderator Paul i applaud you. I can tell you have battened down many a hatches in these things…

      • Hello,

        I used to use screen a lot but got really annoyed by regular lock up issue and scrolling issue in split pane mode. By just replacing the pristine config to use A instead of B as modifier I was able to switch from screen to tmux without changing my habits.

        Don’t know nowadays about the stability but I’d really advice anyone to use tmux over screen because I had zero issue with since day 0 (I’m zero indexed). 🙂

        Have a nice day.

      • Eduard Lucena

        But it’s beeing deprecated in favor of tmux, so I have to agreed to learn tmux.

      • Frederik

        I actually do tell people to forget about C and only learn C++.

    • 3re23

      how usung PgUP dat from screen? Screen and tmux not working similar normal terminal

    • Paul Schilling

      screen has support for serial ports!

      Example of how to use screen for serial terminal.
      screen /dev/ttyUSB0 115200

  2. Adam Inglis

    Note that screen is not available on RHEL 8

    • Carmine Zaccagnino

      It’s in the EPEL. I see why that could be a problem in some cases, it all depends on what you’re looking for. If that’s a problem for you, there’s always tmux out there and there are posts here on the Fedora Magazine about that already. IMO screen doesn’t deserve to be forgotten because there are situations in which one would be better off knowing about it.

  3. Ed

    tmux is a better choice since it still maintained and more current than screen.

  4. Zaro

    Isn’t it about time to deprecate already screen? tmux is much better alternative.

  5. ElScorcho

    The primary reason to use screen over tmux is support for serial connections. I have a USB to serial adapter with the Prolific PL2303HX chipset that is supported by all recent Linux kernels. So it’s a snap to connect to any Cisco or Adtran serial console with my Fedora laptop, which I do quite often.

    • qoheniac

      I use screen for serial connections too, but for everything else I use tmux.

    • This. I have several physical servers with console redirect enabled. Being able to remotely change BIOS settings, kernel command-line arguments, etc. — even when the network is down/misconfigured — has saved the day for me several times over the years. Screen is still my go-to tool for remote serial connections.

  6. Mark

    screen also allows sharing of sessions, within a screen session from the screen -ls example above ‘5589.pts-0.hostname’ assuming the unix userid running the screen session is ‘fred’
    using the commands “C-a:multuser on” followed by “C-a:acladd root” make it a shared session, in this case granting access to root in the acl.

    The root user can then use ‘screen -r fred/5589.pts-0.hostname to connect to that screen session at the same time as user fred, and not only see the commands and responses fred is seeing but also by default be able to issue commands within that session also. So if you have a user unable to get something to work you can see what they are doing wrong and correct it for them. I don’t know if tmux permits that.

    Also does tmux have the equivalent of the -dm flags to start sessions in detached mode ?. For the few applications that must have an interactive session to start I start those in detached screen sessions on headless servers and containers.

  7. Pedro Coelho

    The only thing that is missing is the ability to graphically browse the web in a tmux pane. And the shell would be perfect.

  8. chris

    the only thing i find confusing about screen is the command access. if i remember correctly once inside the screen it gets super complicated…

    look at

    man 1 screen

    I will admit knowing how to use screen is helpful in some situations though.

  9. Screen User

    Why is screen missing from CentOS 8? Must be a tmux conspiracy…

  10. Thank you for the article. I am still using jwin (a terminal mux I wrote myself that uses terminal pages and job control for the sessions with a memory footprint measured in Kbytes), but I realize I may need the features of screen at some point.

    The discussion of relative merits vs tmux has also been enlightening. Screen is probably closer to my future needs.

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