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What's clean way to achieve, following functionality:

function screen_create_or_reuse(){
if [ running_screen_session "$1" ]; then
    reattach_screen_session screen_name_"$1"
    create_screen_session "$1" screen_config_"$1" screen_name_"$1"

Currently, I have to worry if session is already runnning (screen -ls or screen -wipe). Depending on it, if it's not running: create session with custom configuration and name manually (screen -c config -S name) and than reattach manually. I'd like one command screen_create_or_reuse name which handles all those details.

I thought about creating bash script which detects presense of session etc., but I see screen has already a lot of options, maybe I would do overkill.

What's clean way of achieving above, with screen ?

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The following option is from man screen:

   -d -R   Reattach a session and if necessary detach or even create it first.

Use it with -S to set the session name.

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is it realiable to use it with -c as well ? (-c for configuration) – Grzegorz Wierzowiecki Nov 29 '11 at 10:45
Do I really have to use it with -S for name ? As I run screen -dr NAME -c conf it works ? So what's clean and reliable way ? – Grzegorz Wierzowiecki Nov 29 '11 at 15:11

For the most part, -S foo -d -RR will do what you want: it attaches to the session whose name you specify, and creates one if one doesn't exist already.

I like to go a bit further, and look for name-specific configuration files. This lets me define different environment variables, startup applications, and so on for different session names.

This is my file etc/screen/0.screenrc, which is sourced by other session-specific configuration files:

source ~/.screenrc
unsetenv DISPLAY
msgminwait 0
msgwait 0
screen -t post_initialization 39 sh -c 'sleep 1; screen -X msgwait 5; screen -X msgminwait 1'

This is a sample per-session configuration file etc/term/emacs.screenrc, which starts one window running Emacs (no longer useful with Emacs 23 which can attach to multiple terminals).

sessionname emacs
source 0.screenrc
screen -t emacs emacs -nw

And this is an adapted version the script I use to invoke these sessions. Call it with e.g. scr emacs to pick up the session shown above. If there is no configuration file corresponding to the session name in ~/etc/screen, I run a shell.

session_name=$1; shift
if [ -r "$HOME/etc/screen/$session_name.screenrc" ]; then
  exec screen -S "$session_name" -d -RR -c "$HOME/etc/screen/$session_name.screenrc" "$@"
  if [ $# -eq 0 ]; then set "$SHELL"; fi
  exec screen -S "$session_name" -d -RR -c "$HOME/etc/screen/0.screenrc" "$@"
share|improve this answer
Looks very useful . Especially source command. As I stated, I'd like to ensure there is one session for each name. IMHO -d -R will be better in my case, cause I will be warned in case if there will be more than one session with given name. What do you think about it? – Grzegorz Wierzowiecki Nov 30 '11 at 7:28
Are screen -dR name -c conf and screen -S name -d -R -c conf equivalent? – Grzegorz Wierzowiecki Nov 30 '11 at 7:47

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