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I saw some body split their window to 2x2, I just want to know how to do that? I know the 'split' command in Screen can only split the window horizontally.

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This is not possible in some (all?) versions of gnu screen, a custom patch was developed to do this and has been applied in many distributions. I believe this patch is supposed to have made it into upstream, but may not have been released yet. Consider using tmux instead. – xenoterracide Dec 13 '11 at 6:44
@math - what do you expect on this Q&A? The A w/ 9 UV's is the right A. – slm Jan 30 '14 at 8:10
Yes, I though I could promote it to accepted then. As the first with (currently 6) votes is outdated. – math Jan 30 '14 at 8:42
up vote 8 down vote accepted

GNU Screen does not support vertical split unless it's patched (some distros have a patched version of screen in their repositories, but it's rare.)

The Patch is licensed under GPLv2. Some people say that the vertical split in GNU screen makes the application slow but I haven't tested. I use tmux (terminal multiplexer)

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Note: This is no longer true. Vertical splits are part of the official source and Ubuntu packages ship with the functionality built in. – JaredMcAteer Feb 20 '13 at 15:49
@JaredMcAteer, it may be part of the official packages Ubuntu ships with, but the newest release of screen available through the GNU screen project page is 4.00.03, released in 2006. They may have the functionality in their git repo, but it's not part of a release yet as far as I've found. – Brian Vandenberg Oct 14 '13 at 20:58
I hate answers where it's suggested to use another software. +1 for tmux nonetheless. – pfnuesel Jan 30 '14 at 1:58
I think stack should take an accepted answer, once ANOTHER answer surpasses it in points, turn the accepted check-mark yellow, then add the green check-mark to the highest voted. This is totally based upon the simple fact, that the GREEN check-mark is supposed to the more realistic figure. However that is not the case. The REALISTIC figure is the one with the HIGHEST VOTES, almost always. I.E. this green check is not the answer, see the highest voted.. – Brian Thomas Mar 18 at 23:16
Yay, another project that has moved off Sourceforge! edited link. – naught101 May 19 at 0:20

The latest version of GNU screen allows you split the window vertically without any external patches. Here's one way to get it and use it

  1. Checkout/clone/download the source
  2. Build it in an easy sequence of ./autogen.sh, ./configure, make and install. I didn't have any problems with dependencies on Mountain Lion.
  3. To get a vertical split use:

    C-a |  // Create a split
    C-a <Tab> // Move to the split
    C-a c // Create a new window within the split

I don't think this is a reason to switch to tmux any more like others have been suggesting.

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Is it possible to preconfigure screen to autostart with multiple splits ? – Fedir Apr 3 '13 at 13:41
@Fedir Sorry about the late response. But I'm not sure. – gkb0986 May 5 '13 at 21:16
Sure! You have to add split, split -v and focus commands in the screenrc file. Even you can place screen inside another screen to make complex configurations. – Kondybas May 27 '14 at 1:28
@Kellen: When you say "The latest version ..." which version do you mean? I have Screen version 4.00.03 (FAU) 23-Oct-06, but neither C-a | nor split -v work. For example, when I execute the split -v command the error message is split: no arguments required – John Prior Jan 21 '15 at 19:30
@JohnPrior "From macports (Mac OS X): Screen version 4.02.01 (GNU) 28-Apr-14" has the ability to vertically split. As does "From apt-get (Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS): Screen version 4.01.00devel (GNU) 2-May-06" – Dave Albert Apr 25 '15 at 8:35

Check out the video tutorial on Split Screen with Screen in Linux - BASH . At time 2:00 minute, there would be a solution.

Ctrl+A+S # Create another window

Ctrl+A+Tab # Moving from another window

Ctrl+A+c # Create new session

Ctrl+A+| # Splitting vertical

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Thanks for the symbols. – DanFromGermany Aug 14 '14 at 7:41

Use the -v option to split command in screen. From the manpage:

   Split  the current region into two new ones. All regions on the display
   are resized to make room for the new region. The blank window  is  dis‐
   played  on  the  new  region. Splits are made horizontally unless -v is
   used. Use the "remove" or the "only" command  to  delete  regions.  Use
   "focus" to toggle between regions.
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Which split command are you referring to? – xiaohan2012 Dec 13 '11 at 4:54
As mentioned, the command in screen. – Arcege Dec 13 '11 at 6:10
it does not accept arguments. :( – Rocky Dec 13 '11 at 7:41
It works here (Ubuntu 11.10), also with shortcur C-a |. – enzotib Dec 13 '11 at 8:35
So, in order to input commands in screen, one needs to do C-a : (control a, colon). There you can do split or split -v. C-a | is a shortcut for a vertical split, though. – droope Jul 7 '14 at 5:00

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