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GNU Screen - the ASCII window manager

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Software

GNU Screen or screen in short is something I discovered late in my UNIX romance. Now that I have got hooked to it there is no going back. One of the first packages I install on any linux distro is this marvelous creation. Let us take a dekko at this and see what makes it so versatile.

It is a window manager you can run without having to run X window. And you can run this from inside an xterm too of course. But for most folks who have used screen for some time forget that it is some kind of a window manager like windowmaker or fluxbox.

Instead it comes across as a powerful tool for collaboration for instance. Using screen, it is possible for a remote user to view the commands you are typing in real time. He gets a remote display a la vnc. Of course it goes without saying how useful this can be in debugging problems and in handling support calls.

But that is just the tip of the iceberg.

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