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GNU Screen is a terminal multiplexer, which provides

Persistence: Similar to VNC, many terminal multiplexers allow the user to start applications from one computer, and then reconnect from a different computer and continue using the same application without having to restart it.

Multiple windows: Multiple terminal sessions can be created, each of which usually runs a single application.

Session Sharing: Terminal multiplexers allow multiple computers to connect to the same session at once, enabling collaboration between multiple users.

On my local machine, what can a terminal muplitplexer such as Screen bring to me, which a terminal emulator and nohup/disown can't?

  • On a local machine, I don't have to worry about unstable network connection between computer and terminal, and don't have to share session with other users.

  • I can use nohup or disown, if I want to make a process survive the termination of its parent, or something else.

  • On a terminal emulator, can I just open multiple tabs for multiplexing? Also I think emacs can do that too.

Most if not all of the features that I am interested in are listed above.

I am not questioning the usefulness of Screen. I am trying to know when I can make use of it, such as case where nohup/disown/setsid does not work.

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    The question is unclear. Do you want to be convinced by someone to use screen? – Kusalananda Nov 27 '18 at 19:59
  • ... or tmux, which you might know better. – Tim Nov 27 '18 at 20:03
  • @whoever If you don't understand my post, it is completely okay. Just don't close it, and at least give others a chance. – Tim Nov 27 '18 at 20:07
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    It's just that it seems to ask "X does these things, which I can already do. Why should I be using X?". This is asking for opinions, IMHO. – Kusalananda Nov 27 '18 at 20:09
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    The main use case for screen or tmux is when you need to re-attach to an existing session (e.g. one with a long-running job) because the network connection etc. was interrupted. On a local-only machine, it's difficult to imagine a scenario where this will happen. The other features are just icing on the cake, and nice to have, but you surely can do it in other ways. – dirkt Nov 28 '18 at 8:16
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On a local machine, I don't have to worry about unstable network connection between computer and terminal, and don't have to share session with other users.

But you can always close your terminal window inadvertently. Or you can restart your X server.

I can use nohup or disown, if I want to make a process survive the termination of its parent, or something else.

But you cannot enter input if program requested that.

On a terminal emulator, can I just open multiple tabs for multiplexing? Also I think emacs can do that too.

Yes, you can do that.

Off the top of my head, GNU screen also gives you:

  • ability to select and copy text to X clipboard without using a mouse

  • ability to select and copy and paste text between screen windows without using a mouse

  • ability to search for a string on the screen without using a mouse

  • serial console emulator but of you course you can use other programs such as minicom for that purpose.

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    To add on to one of your points: nohup/disown are about removing a program from your terminal, but screen is (or, can be) about removing a program from your terminal and possibly bringing it back later – Fox Nov 27 '18 at 20:07

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