Screen CheatSheet


Start a new session with session name screen -S

List running sessions / screens screen -ls

Attach to a running session screen -x

Attach to a running session with name screen -r

Detach a running session screen -d

Kill a running session screen -X -S [session # you want to kill] kill

Quit a running session screen -X -S [session # you want to quit ] quit

Escape Key

All screen commands are prefixed by an escape key, by default Ctrl-a (that’s Control-a, sometimes written ^a).

To send a literal Ctrl-a to the programs in screen, use Ctrl-a a. This is useful when when working with screen within screen.

For example Ctrl-a a n will move screen to a new window on the screen within screen.

Getting Out

detach Ctrl-a d

detach and logout (quick exit) Ctrl-a D D

exit screen Ctrl-a : quit or exit all of the programs in screen.

force-exit screen Ctrl-a C- (not recommended)


See help Ctrl-a ? (Lists keybindings)

Window Management

Create new window Ctrl-a c

Change to last-visited active window Ctrl-a Ctrl-a (commonly used to flip-flop between two windows)

Change to window by number Ctrl-a (only for windows 0 to 9)

Change to window by number or name Ctrl-a ’

Change to next window in list Ctrl-a n or Ctrl-a

Change to previous window in list Ctrl-a p or Ctrl-a

See window list Ctrl-a " (allows you to select a window to change to)

Show window bar Ctrl-a w (if you don’t have window bar)

Kill current window Ctrl-a k (not recommended)

Kill all windows Ctrl-a  (not recommended)

Rename current window Ctrl-a A

Split screen

Split display horizontally Ctrl-a S

To get a vertical split use:

C-a | // Create a split

C-a // Move to the split

C-a c // Create a new window within the split

Jump to next display region Ctrl-a tab

Remove current region Ctrl-a X

Remove all regions but the current one Ctrl-a Q

Redraw window Ctrl-a C-l

Enter copy mode Ctrl-a [ or Ctrl-a (also used for viewing scrollback buffer)

Paste Ctrl-a ]

Monitor window for activity Ctrl-a M

Monitor window for silence Ctrl-a _

Enter digraph (for producing non-ASCII characters) Ctrl-a Ctrl-v

Lock (password protect) display Ctrl-a x

Enter screen command Ctrl-a :

Enable logging in the screen session Ctrl-a H

These writings represent my own personal views alone.
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.