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screen command is a nice program for us to run process background, but I found Ctrl + a w do not show screen windows list in xshell(Xmanager component) and Ctrl + a k do not kill this screen terminal for me. However Ctrl + a d to dettach session works! So what's wrong with Ctrl +a w to list sessions?

More serious, How do I know whether I am in screen window or normal bash window? Many times I try to dettach screen session, I got logout after ctrl+a d. Very embarrassing isn't it? So is there any hints to show me whether am I in a screen window or just normal tty terminal?

migrated from serverfault.com Dec 29 '14 at 13:18

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If you're getting logged out when you type ^A d I'm guessing you're still holding down the control key when you're pressing d. ^A ^D is bound to "detach" as well as ^A d. For ^A k and ^A w, try letting go of the control key before pressing the k or the w.

  • My fault! control key shoud not be holded when w or d ispressed. thx~ – seanlook Dec 30 '14 at 1:24
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Probably the combination ^A w is used by something with higher priority. ^A d is probably not used by it and thus passed to screen. You can try setting a different command character with -e.

^A d should not log you out from a normal shell.

My advice is to always press ^A w before ^A d when unsure. To make it completely safe you may use the shell's key binding feature to react to it, e.g. print this is not within screen.

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I also found myself tricked by this. Ever since, I always add these two lines to screenrc:

hardstatus alwayslastline
hardstatus string "%{= kG}[ %{G}%H %{g}][ %{=kw}%?%-Lw%?%{r}(%{W}%n*%f%t%?(%u)%?%{r})%{w}%?%+Lw%?%?%= %{g}][%{B}%Y-%m-%d %{W}%c %{g}]"

It changes the visual appearance of a TTY in screen. You cannot overlook it afterwards.

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