GNU Screen

GNU Screen is officially the best thing ever. It's not new, it's not a meme, and it's for hardcore Linux/*nix spods only, but it will change your life.

If you're like me, you probably prefer doing as much as possible on the command line. GUIs such as Microsoft Windows or X Windows are, after all, for beginners; they're unnecessarily bloated, bandwidth-hoging, resource-hogging and prone to crashing far more often. But you can't help but be jealous of the way they allow you to do more than one thing on the screen at a time.

GNU Screen allows you to have multiple terminal sessions controlled from one session. You can create new screens, switch between them, and leave them logged in and running even when you disconnect.

A year ago, I used to control all kinds of batch jobs through nohup , then scrolling through log files to keep tabs on them. Now I just fire off a job in a GNU Screen and switch over to watch it when I like (I can even set split screen or trigger alarms on certain text). Tend to do a lot of stuff switching between root and your normal user? Have both a root session and a normal session switchable in GNU Screen!

If you 're a terminal session power user, you really don't know how amazingly useful this is until you have been using it for a couple of months - then you'll wonder how you ever managed without it.

Public Domain - Andrew Oakley - 2005-11-03

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