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Tool Tip: Byob – Screen With Text UI

Posted by Jakub Holý on October 17, 2012

Screen (man) is very useful for running terminal sessions on remote computers that enable the user to disconnect and re-connect. Byobu (man), formerly also called screen-profiles, is a wrapper script for screen that adds status lines with useful info to screen and provides text UI for configuring it (byobu-config).

Screen allows you to have multiple “windows” (terminal sessions) opened at the same time and jump between them (C-a n). You can also display multiple windows if you split your screen.

Few screen/byobu tips (C-a means Contol-a):

  • Configuration
    • Increase scroll history via “screen -h <num lines>” or “defscrollback <num lines>” in ~/.screenrc
  • Detach from screen: C-a d
  • Re-attach to screen: screen -rd
  • Split vertically: C-a |
    • Jump to the new split (or back): C-a tab
    • Create new window in the split (=> shell): C-a c
    • Remove all splits but the current one: C-a Q
  • Next window: C-a n
  • Pass “C-a” to the terminal running under screen: “C-a a”
  • Help “C-a ?”
  • Byobu: disable the Fn keys and only use the traditional screen commands: run byobu-config and select to use only them
    • To access Bybou menu (config) type, instead of F9, C-a @
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