Install Screen

Howto install Screen Manager

What is Screen

Screen is a very useful utility that allows a user or administrator to create multiple screens (interactive shells) from within one window and then manage these sessions easily. Each screen that is created has its own scrollable history. A copy and paste mechanism is also available allowing text to be copied from one terminal window to another.

When the screen utility is called, it creates a single window with a shell in it or the specified command. At any time, you can create new full screen windows with other programs in them, kill existing windows, view a list of running windows, toggle output logging on and off, copy and paste text between windows, view the scrollback history and switch between windows. All windows run their programs independently of each other. Programs will continue to run even when their window is not currently visible and even when the whole screen session is detached from the users's terminal. When a program terminates, screen kills the window that contained it. If this window was in the foreground, the display is then switched to the previous window. Shells usually distinguish between running as a login shell or a sub shell. Screen runs these as sub-shells, unless told otherwise. Everything that you type is sent to the program running in the current window session. The only exception to this is the one keystroke that is used to initiate a command to the window manager. By default, each command begins with a Ctrl + A, and is followed by one other keystroke. The command character and all the key bindings can be fully customized.

Screen is available for most Linux distributions and should be available within your repositories if it is not already installed. To install screen to your Linux system, follow the tutorials below. (Note all commands are issued as root or prefixed with sudo).

Instructions for Installing Screen on a Debian Based system (Debian, Ubuntu, Mint..)

To install the screen utility on a Debian based system using the apt-get installation tool, simply follow the instructions below.

Issue the following commands:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install screen

The first command "sudo apt-get update" will update your repositories so that the latest software will be available. The second command initiates the actual installation. Below is output taken from an Ubuntu MATE system:

john@mate01:~$ sudo apt-get install screen
[sudo] password for john:
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree      
Reading state information... Done
Suggested packages:
  iselect screenie byobu
The following NEW packages will be installed
0 to upgrade, 1 to newly install, 0 to remove and 80 not to upgrade.
Need to get 539 kB of archives.
After this operation, 991 kB of additional disk space will be used.
Get:1 utopic/main screen i386 4.2.1-2 [539 kB]
Fetched 539 kB in 0s (1,456 kB/s)
Selecting previously unselected package screen.
(Reading database ... 166267 files and directories currently installed.)
Preparing to unpack .../screen_4.2.1-2_i386.deb ...
Unpacking screen (4.2.1-2) ...
Processing triggers for install-info (5.2.0.dfsg.1-4) ...
Processing triggers for man-db ( ...
Processing triggers for ureadahead (0.100.0-16) ...
ureadahead will be reprofiled on next reboot
Setting up screen (4.2.1-2) ...
Processing triggers for ureadahead (0.100.0-16) ...

Instructions for Installing Screen on Red Hat, CentOS and Fedora Systems

To install the Screen utility on a Red Hat based system we can issue the following commands:

yum install screen.x86_64

Below is output taken from a Fedora 21 system:

[root@fedsrv01a ~]# yum install screen.x86_64
Loaded plugins: langpacks
Resolving Dependencies
--> Running transaction check
---> Package screen.x86_64 0:4.2.1-4.fc21 will be installed
--> Finished Dependency Resolution

Dependencies Resolved

 Package         Arch            Version                  Repository       Size
 screen          x86_64          4.2.1-4.fc21             fedora          563 k

Transaction Summary
Install  1 Package

Total download size: 563 k
Installed size: 927 k
Is this ok [y/d/N]: y
Downloading packages:
screen-4.2.1-4.fc21.x86_64.rpm                              | 563 kB  00:01     
Running transaction check
Running transaction test
Transaction test succeeded
Running transaction (shutdown inhibited)
  Installing : screen-4.2.1-4.fc21.x86_64                                   1/1 
  Verifying  : screen-4.2.1-4.fc21.x86_64                                   1/1 

  screen.x86_64 0:4.2.1-4.fc21                                                  


Instructions for installing Screen on openSUSE - SLES (SUSE Linux Enterprise Server)

Although screen is installed by default on openSUSE 13.2 and SLES 12 I have included the commands for installing. To install screen on an openSUSE system or SLES you can use either the YAST interface or the zypper utility. In the example below I am using zypper.

Commands to issue:

zypper install screen

linux-oy4f:~ # zypper install screen
Loading repository data...
Reading installed packages...
Resolving package dependencies...

The following NEW package is going to be installed:

1 new package to install.
Overall download size: 498.7 KiB. Already cached: 0 B  After the operation,
additional 802.4 KiB will be used.
Continue? [y/n/? shows all options] (y): y
Retrieving package screen-4.2.1-2.1.2.x86_64
                                           (1/1), 498.7 KiB (802.4 KiB unpacked)
Retrieving: screen-4.2.1-2.1.2.x86_64.rpm ..................[done (942.7 KiB/s)]
Checking for file conflicts: .............................................[done]
(1/1) Installing: screen-4.2.1-2.1.2 .....................................[done]