Screen Cheat Sheet

This is a quick reference guide cheat sheet for the screen command.

Getting Started

$ screen 

1. Press Ctrl-A D to detach session

  1. List all screen sessions
$ screen -ls
  1. Re-attach a screen Session
$ screen -r <name/pid>

Screen tricks

SSH and attach in one line

$ ssh -t user@host screen -x <name/pid>


Command Description
Ctrl-A C-l Redraw window
Ctrl-A [ Copy mode
Ctrl-A ESC Copy mode
Ctrl-A ] Paste
Ctrl-A M Monitor window for activity
Ctrl-A _ Monitor window for silence
Ctrl-A Ctrl-V Enter digraph (non-ASCII characters)
Ctrl-A X Lock (password protect) display
Ctrl-A : Enter screen command
Ctrl-A H Enable logging in the screen session

Split screen

Command Description
Ctrl-A S Split display horizontally
Ctrl-A V Split display vertically
Ctrl-A | Split display vertically
Ctrl-A TAB Jump to next display region
Ctrl-A X Remove current region
Ctrl-A Q Remove all regions but the current one

Getting Out

Command Description
Ctrl-A D Detach
Ctrl-A D D Detach and logout (quick exit)
Ctrl-A : Exit all session
Ctrl-A C-\ Force-exit screen (not recommended)

Window Management

Command Description
Ctrl-A C Create new window
Ctrl-A Ctrl-A Change to last-visited active window
Ctrl-A 0...9 Change to window by number
Ctrl-A ' <0...9 or title> Change to window by number or name
Ctrl-A N or Ctrl-A <space> Change to next window in list
Ctrl-A P or Ctrl-A <backspace> Change to previous window in list
Ctrl-A " See window list
Ctrl-A W Show window bar
Ctrl-A K Kill current window (not recommended)
Ctrl-A \ Kill all windows (not recommended)
Ctrl-A A Rename current window


Command Description
Ctrl-A ? See help (Lists keybindings)


Options Example Description
-S screen -S debug Start a new session with session name
-ls screen -ls List running sessions / screens
-x screen -x Attach to a running session
-r screen -r debug Attach to a running session with name
-R screen -R debug Attach to a session (Will create if it doesn't exist)
-d screen -d -m wget Start screen in detached mode
-X screen -X -S debug kill Kill a running session