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When I use screen I can only see the current data on the terminal (commands, messages, etc.).

Is there a way, apart from printing anything I want to a file, to see the previous messages (the same way a normal terminal emulator would)?

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

Hitting Ctrl+A then Esc should get you into a special mode to look through the scroll-back buffer much like hitting Esc in vim gets you into a mode where you can navigate the file rather than inserting into it.

If your scroll-back buffer doesn't have enough lines in it to be useful you can change this in your ~/.screenrc file:

defscrollback 10000

Once in the scroolback buffer, you can use common key bindings like J/K/H/L, PgUp/PgDown, G/Shift+G, ^/$ and arrows to navigate. You can use Space to set a mark. Setting a second mark will copy everything between the two marks to the screen clipboard which you can then paste into any window using Ctrl+A ].

You can also search and do other things with the buffer. See the screen users manual for more.

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I am able to copy from screen buffer, but how do I paste it to gedit? – abc Aug 26 '11 at 5:37
@abc: You would need to tranfer it from the screen clipboard to the X clipboard. Try using shell in screen and running: cat - | xclip and then Ctrl+A ]. – Caleb Aug 26 '11 at 9:03
May be I am doing something wrong. cat - | xclip just hangs. I copied characters from screen buffer and then tried to paste them to a text editor and that did not work. Can you elaborate please? – abc Aug 26 '11 at 22:33

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