I would like to force GNU screen to reflow to the existing terminal width when I reattach a session. It seems to me this worked properly before I upgraded a machine to CentOS 6, but I cannot figure out how to restore it. (TERM=xterm)

Whenever I reattach a session, regardless of state when I detached it, it launches at 80 columns, resizing my terminal (PuTTY, in this case) along with it.

I'm launching & reattaching with:

screen -aA -R <session>

My .screenrc contains only the following, and a few irrelevant key bindings:

term xterm

defscrollback 10000

# status line at the bottom
hardstatus on
hardstatus alwayslastline
hardstatus string "${-}%{.0c}%-w%{.y0}%f%n %t%{-}%+w %=%{..G}[%H] %{..Y} %D %M %d, %Y %c | Load: %l"
caption splitonly "%{.yK}%3n t"
caption string "%{.c0}%3n %t"

vbell off

# Fix fullscreen programs
altscreen on
  • You might have better luck with tmux, I can dynamically resize my Terminal window and the tmux inside will follow. – number5 Nov 13 '13 at 23:15

after you reattach a ctrl-a F runs the "fit" command to resize the current window. if you reattach using the -A option it should resize all windows when you reattach. Are there others still attached to the screen session when you are attaching? For instance, are you having to use -x to reattach instead of -r? you can detach others when you reattach with "screen -D -r" instead of "screen -x", and I'd expect this to automatically refit windows.

  • I am launching with -a -A, and no one else is attached. – Michael Dec 13 '11 at 15:49
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    This is still a problem with screen via Ubuntu 14.04. Fit doesn't work. Disconnecting and reconnecting does. Screen 4.2.1 is available from trusty backports. See the user backports documentation for information on enabling and using packages from the backports repository. – Greg Bell Oct 26 '15 at 10:24
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    Even after doing this, I had to resize my terminal window to send whatever signal screen needed to actually do the resize. – krs013 Oct 29 '15 at 3:25
  • These woraround didn't work for me, perhaps because I am using a different terminal (iTerm2 on Mac). Fit didn't work, so I detached and reattached using screen -D -r and even tried resizing the window, but it stayed the same. When in Vim, I can see that columns was set to 204. – haridsv Nov 28 '16 at 16:51
  • screen -D -r worked for me after trying all the other options, as you said Stew - my screen was still showing up as attached when I ran screen -ls – Hayden Crocker Oct 20 '17 at 20:19

Note that this answer only applies to PuTTY. I too am forced to use an operating system that I would rather not, and PuTTY is the only real option due to other restrictions on the system. I was having the same issue, my screen would resize upon initiating or connecting to an existing screen session. I tried the answers here to no avail (Windows 10 with PuTTY 0.67 installed via MSI). These answeres might have worked with a standard UN*X terminal, but not with PuTTY, it's a different beastie.

I went digging in the options, and lo and behold under "Terminal -> Features" there is an option labeled "Disable remote-controlled terminal resizing". Check the box, apply the setting, and try screen again. I think you'll find the problem resolved.

  • KiTTY is a much better drop-in replacement for PuTTY on that OS you're forced to use... – Anubioz Dec 23 '18 at 16:25

Try adding this (from /etc/screenrc) to your ~/.screenrc:

# Change the xterm initialization string from is2=\E[!p\E[?3;4l\E[4l\E>
# (This fixes the "Aborted because of window size change" konsole symptoms found
#  in bug #134198)
termcapinfo xterm* 'is=\E[r\E[m\E[2J\E[H\E[?7h\E[?1;4;6l'


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    In MPutty this definitively solves putty session not filling the entire page but opening too small – Thomas8 Dec 3 '15 at 20:37

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