I am working in a remote Linux box using VNC.I have a single terminal with lots of tabs opened in my system. How can I split them using the screen utility? Does the screen utility work with already opened tabs or do I need to close all existing tabs to try it out ?

I have been through this answer but it is not working for me.I tried to open a new terminal using ctrla then c but it just doesn't do anything . I am using Red Hat Linux and GNOME terminal 1.16.0.

I can see screen is there in my system as shown below:

 [subhrcho@slc04lyo pcbpel]$ which screen

But I can't find tmux.

[subhrcho@slc04lyo pcbpel]$ which tmux
tmux: Command not found.

Here's the linux version :

[subhrcho@slc04lyo pcbpel]$ cat /etc/redhat-release
Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server release 5.8 (Tikanga)

Edit1: Even if I close all the tabs and open a single window as suggested by @Jander, and then type ctrla then c I am seeing the character c is just getting printed in the shell. Am I missing something obvious ?

Edit2: Turns out that I never actually ran screen command (Thanks to @andcoz). Now I can see my terminal getting split into horizontal sections but not vertically .

  • @Macro it was a typo. I tried with screen .see the edit. – Geek Feb 28 '13 at 19:37

I read carefully your question and I have a simple obvious suspect: did you run screen?

Inside your "gnome-terminal", you have to run the screen program. After you'll start the program inside the terminal, you'd use ctrl+a c sequence to split your terminal.


Programs like screen (and tmux) are conceptually similar to, but completely separate from, Gnome-Terminal's idea of tabs. screen runs inside a terminal window (or a single Gnome-Terminal tab) and creates its own "sub-windows". So you can use screen to show two "screen windows" side by side, but you can't use it to do the same with your Gnome Terminal tabs.

Likewise, screen doesn't know anything about tmux, or vice versa... and for that matter, if we want to jump from terminals to web browsers, Firefox doesn't know about Konqueror's tabs, or Epiphany's. It's the same principle.

If you want to put two Gnome-Terminal tabs side by side, you could go to the Tabs menu and choose "Detach Tab", then move the resulting window.

  • I closed all existing tabs. Then started a new window (not a tab). Then typed ctrl+a then c. It does nothing and the character c is printed in the shell. – Geek Feb 28 '13 at 20:19
  • That's because gnome-terminal and screen are two entirely different things. If you want to run screen you have to start it manually. – Shadur Sep 16 '20 at 7:21

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