screenrc – easy way to improve screen usability

I’ve used a custom ~/.screenrc file for at least a year now. I find that this snippet helps improve the usability for me.

#Custom Stuff
caption always "%{= wb}$USER @ %H >> %-Lw%{= r}%50>%n* %t%{-}%+Lw%< %-=<< (%c.%s)"

activity "%c activity -> %n%f %t"
bell "%c bell -> %n%f %t^G"
vbell_msg " *beep* "

startup_message off

defscrollback 500

multiuser off
# Always start screen with utf8 enabled. (screen -U)
defutf8 on

Output (caption at bottom):
screenrc

  1. Screen is good, but tmux is better! :)

    • Screen is good, but tmux is better! :)

      Wow, you can say that again! I can FINALLY detach and reattach without losing my window splits (not to mention the splitting behavior is much better) and the keybindings can be easily set to match screen….GENIUS!

      ~jtriley

  2. Here’s mine. I bind some F-keys to open/switch/rename windows, that makes screen even more user friendly in my opinion.

    # skip the startup message
    startup_message off

    # Automatically detach on hangup.
    autodetach on

    # If a screen dies, don’t freeze the whole screen waiting for it.
    nonblock on

    # UTF-8 is necessary.
    defutf8 on

    # Change default scrollback value for new windows
    defscrollback 10000
    # scrollback 10000

    # start with visual bell as default
    vbell off
    vbell_msg “Bell on %t (%n)”

    # look and feel
    # caption always “%3n %t%? @%u%?%? [%h]%?%=%c”
    # termcapinfo xterm ‘hs:ts=\E]2;:fs=07:ds=\E]2;screen07′
    hardstatus alwaysignore
    # hardstatus alwayslastline ‘%{g}%-w%{b}%n %t%{-}%+w %<%{kk}'
    hardstatus alwayslastline '%{bk}%-w%<%{gk}%n %t%{-}%+w %<%{kk}'

    activity "Activity in %t (%n)"

    bindkey -k k7 prev
    bindkey -k k8 next
    bindkey -k k9 title
    bindkey -k k5 screen

  3. What coincidence – tonight I uninstalled screen and replaced it with tmux on all my systems.

Leave a Reply