Running a command in a screen and detaching is quite simple.

screen -S test -d -m echo "output of command that runs forever"

However I would also like to pipe all the output to a file for logging, how can run the following in a screen and detach.

echo "output of command that runs forever" &> output.log


Just to clarify, I need this for a script so simple starting a screen and doing running the command and detaching is not an option.


screen -dmS workspace; screen -S workspace -X stuff $'ps aux > output-x\n'

I first create a detached session with the -d switch, I called my session workspace. I then send my command to the same session with -X stuff, I am using $'', but you could also use double quotes, but have to do a control M instead of a \n, which I don't like so I normally use the method I described above.

After this piece of code runs, you will find the output-x with the list of processes, and also if you do a:

screen -ls

you will see the session has been detached.

Since you said you are going to be running a script. You might want to have your script search for a detached session (I am using workspace), and if it exists send commands to that pre-existing session, instead of making a new session every time "screen -dmS sessionName" is ran, example is below:

    if ! ( screen -ls | grep workspace > /dev/null); then
       screen -dmS workspace;
    screen -S workspace -X stuff $'ps aux > output-x\n'
  • Thank you very much, this helped. On slower vms I did have to add a sleep between the two commands for it to work reliably. – Fabian Barkhau Jan 29 '16 at 15:15
  • does this work if we wanted to monitor serial port, for e.g. screen /dev/ttyUSB0? – deostroll Jul 28 at 2:36

You can wrap your command in an extra bash (or your actual shell) call and make redirection there:

$ screen -dm bash -c 'echo hello > ./out' ignoreme_arg
$ cat ./out

Here ignoreme_arg stands for called bash $0 argument.


You can use the disown or nohup

usage: How to monitor WGET download progress after closing SSH session

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