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Software GNU is Not Unix Open Source

After a Long wait, GNU Screen Gets Refreshed 77

New submitter jostber (304257) writes "It's been a long wait, but now GNU Screen, the most useful CLI windows manager around, is available. Version 4.2.1 was released a couple of days ago and the maintainer's release news is here." There are fewer commits than you might expect for software that's had six years since its last major update, but that could be because the developers have had 23 years to knock out the major bugs.
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After a Long wait, GNU Screen Gets Refreshed

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  • most useful? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Arathon ( 1002016 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2014 @01:27PM (#46869729) Journal
    I've been using tmux for years now, so my experiential data say no.
  • a bit late (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 29, 2014 @01:37PM (#46869851)

    uh what

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 29, 2014 @01:38PM (#46869857)

    I use screen every single day. But it has aged, and not that well. Also, the quality of the job it does is directly dependent on how good the $TERM and ncurses stack is, and that varies wildly. It used to be much worse, but it can still be rather bad if you have to shell to old crap. Or the bells-and-whistles piece of crap that passes as a terminal emulator in the frisky desktop-environment is buggy (easy to work around: open an xterm).

    The usual alternative to screen is tmux (, which is much newer and has a better feature set. Google for "tmux versus screen". It also had the advantage of a non-dead upstream, but I hope GNU screen upstream is back into highly active mode for good...

  • Re:No screenshots (Score:5, Informative)

    by harrkev ( 623093 ) <kfmsd AT harrelsonfamily DOT org> on Tuesday April 29, 2014 @01:51PM (#46870045) Homepage

    Screen is actually surprisingly useful.

    You can throw jobs off to a "screen" instance that can run happily. Then, if you have to VPN in from home, you can grab the screen and pick up where you left off. Combine this with "nohup" and you can have jobs that run even when you log off, and you can regain console control from them at any time.

    In short, it is the "vnc" of the terminal world.

  • by flyingfsck ( 986395 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2014 @01:57PM (#46870155)
    Still no serial support in tmux, so embedded developers need to use screen.
  • Re:One question (Score:5, Informative)

    by aardvarkjoe ( 156801 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2014 @02:19PM (#46870415)

    The submitter used a link to the announcement of a 4.2.1 minor bugfix release, which isn't very informative if you want to know about new features in 4.2.x. They really should have linked to this announcement [] instead, which says:

    Hello everyone,
    it is my pleasure to announce release of GNU Screen v.4.2.0
    available at
    (I will also upload to as soon as my access is authorized)
    Many are probably using it due to their distributions packaging
    development versions, so they know at least some of changes.
    Short list of them:
      * layouts
      * window groups
      * better mouse support
      * vertical split
      * new and expanded commands
    For full list of changes please check Changelog.
    Please note that due to some changes it may be not possible to attach
    to sessions created with older binaries.
    With this I also plan to put v.4 into maintenance mode and start
    developing v.5 with cleaned up source code, new features (some already
    in development tree, currently outside of official repository):
      * 256 color hardstatus
      * truecolor
      * firstline hardstatus
      * top line caption
      and more
    Amadeusz S&#197;&#8218;awi&#197;&#8222;ski

    And the Changelog is here: [].

  • Re:most useful? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Junta ( 36770 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2014 @02:25PM (#46870485)

    To my knowledge for screen:
    -screen can target ptys/realserial ports. Useful alternative to minicom or similar. Nowadays it's the most likely application to be installed 'by chance' with that capability (once upon a time, I would generally find cu, but that's almost never around by chance anymor)
    -a split screen can have different people typing concurrently in different panes.

    tmux more gracefully handles multiple terminal sizes connecting and tends to keep you from leaving a shared attach behind when you start trying to do split and such. tmux naturally understands terminal title set sequence and has more handy access to a lot of the best tricks. So 95% of the time tmux hits what is more important to me, but I do get a bit put out when I have a desire to take care of one of the above cases.

  • Most useful? (Score:1, Informative)

    by chriscappuccio ( 80696 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2014 @03:32PM (#46871165) Homepage

    The most useful? You mean tmux? Not this old antiquated, bug ridden piece of code, right?

You will never amount to much. -- Munich Schoolmaster, to Albert Einstein, age 10