GNU screen

This wonderful piece of software provides a window manager for any number of virtual terminals. When using screen there is no need for a ressource hungry terminal programm providing tabs and stuff. All you need is provided by rxvt-unicode and screen. The following page describes my current configuration with the following features:

* utf-8 terminals
* huge scrollback buffer for each virtual terminal
* customized key bindings
* tab bar with clock


By default the configuration is stored in fiel file ‘~/.screenrc’. A customized location can be defined by the environment variable SCREENRC like:

export SCREENRC=~/usr/etc/screenrc
# UTF-8
defutf8 on

# history buffer
defscrollback 16384

# do not wait on sessions that hang
defnonblock on

# set default window title
shelltitle "VT"
# no !#$@#! startup message
startup_message off
# status line (tab bar)
hardstatus alwaysignore
hardstatus alwayslastline
hardstatus string '%{kw}%-w%{kY}%n %t%{-}%+w %=%{.w} %{kY}%c'
# key bindings
bindkey "^[[c" next # S-<Cursor left>   previous window
bindkey "^[[d" prev # S-<Cursor right>  next window
bindkey "^@" copy   # C-<Space>         enter copy mode
bindkey "^N" title  # C-N               rename window

If you would like to define some more key bindings you need to know the “code” for the shortcut that might be different, depending on the terminal. To find out the “codes” the ‘od’ tool is very helpful. Just open a terminal an start the programm like:

od -a

Now type the shortcut you would like to know. The characters representing the shortcut are displayed in the terminal, e.g. ‘^[[c’ when you’ve pressed the Shift key and the left cursor key.

Further Information


man page: man screen

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