Tech ramblings by Marcin

Screen shortcuts for split experience

2019-07-17 00:00

Most useful shortcuts to operate screen

Aside from basic screen shortcuts for moving around, creating and changing windows there are things that create more of a window manager feel for terminal usage. And these are splits.

You can create a split with Ctrl-a | - which creates a vertical split. There is also Ctrl-A S to create a horizontal split. To cycle between your open splits just use Ctrl-a <Tab>. To close the active split - just press Ctrl-a X

Keep regions saved after detach

Unfortunately screen does not remember splits between detaches. So to fix this behavior there is one fix:

source .screen_layout // read and execute commands from $HOME/.screen_layout
Regions now created.
layout save def // save current regions as layout to keep it when you detach.

Other useful for me

I have a screen config that displays a list of all open windows with their names. This helps me figure out what’s happening and where I’m at given point in time. I also like to change windows’ names to reflect my current usage. Do this with Ctrl-a Shift-a and than enter the desired name.

There are frequent times when I have a long running screen but have just found a new fancy option I want to put into my .screenrc. To reload it and apply to current screen instance I do Ctrl-a :source ~/.screenrc.