Day 19: The screen command on GNU-Linux

The screen command

linux penguin

This command might be the most underrated linux commands of all time.


The screen command’s primary and most widespread purpose is to keep an SSH session alive.


When you get logged out from a server, following a disconnection by timeout or any other disconnections.

Then, your SSH session would get automatically lost ,along with anything you could have launched on the server during your session.


Now, if you were in an SSH session and ran screen, you would still be able to reconnect to your session, should you be disconnected.


The package can be installed under Ubuntu/Debian using the following command:

sudo apt-get install screen

Create session

  1. SSH to a server, or just open a terminal.

  2. Create your screen session

     screen -S top
     #in this case, i am creating a screen with session name 'top'

Run a command, any command

The command should be preferably interactive


Now close the terminal window, simulating an SSH disconnect

Resume session

Open a new terminal window and resume the session

screen -r top

Yes the SSH session resumes where you left off and your command(s) appear like you never disconnected!

Listing screen sessions

[email protected]:~$ screen -ls
There is a screen on:	(19/01/21 21:49:13)	(Detached)
1 Socket in /run/screen/S-codax.

There you are ! Your top session appears in the list.


Written on January 19, 2021