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Shell: how to go to the beginning of line when you are inside a screen?

Normally to get to the beginning of a line in a terminal the command is Ctrl+a.

While using GNU screen the Ctrl+a is the escape sequence to enter a screen command.

Is there a default way to move to the beginning of a line while in screen?


2 Answers 2


The sequence to send a literal C-a is explained in the man page:

   C-a a       (meta)        Send the command character (C-a)  to  window.
                             See escape command.

so you should use C-a a.

So, if you have a screen inside the other (for example screen + ssh + screen) you should use that prescription multiple time, and in the case at hand it becomes C-a a a

  • Nice! I had always thought since <kbd>Ctrl</kbd>+(<kbd>a</kbd> <kbd>a</kbd>) switched screens that <kbd>Ctrl</kbd>+<kbd>a</kbd> <kbd>a</kbd> would do the same but the release of the <kbd>Ctrl</kbd> key after the initial <kbd>a</kbd> makes it perform the default action <kbd>Ctrl</kbd>+<kbd>a</kbd> when not in a screen. Thank you!
    – rudolph9
    Feb 7, 2012 at 20:46

Why not just configure (if it's required - does it work out of the box?) your home key so it works correctly. Here's a randomly googled reference

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