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

#Getting started

#Getting started

$ screen 

1. Press Ctrl-a d to detach session

2. List all screen sessions

$ screen -ls

3. Re-attach a screen Session

$ screen -r <name/pid>


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 xxxx.com/large.file Start screen in detached mode
-X screen -X -S debug kill Kill a running session


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

#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

#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)

#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


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

#Screen tricks

Ssh and attach in one line.

$ ssh -t [email protected] screen -x <name/pid>