Sunday, November 29, 2009

GNU Screen and Bash

As pretty as GUIs are, sometimes it is most efficient to work in a text console which is why I find myself using GNU Screen. However, Screen's command starts with CTRL-A which is also Bash's move to start of line command. To have it work, use 'ctrl-a a'.

Also, screen sets the value of TERM to be screen so if you have any settings based on the TERM value, update it appropriately.

One thing about using screen is that you lose your terminal's scroll buffer so as line scroll past your view you can't just use the scrollbar to move up to see what you missed. Instead, screen has it's own scroll buffer that you can use. You can set the buffer size using 'defscrollback #' (where # is the number of lines) in your .screenrc or in the screen command line (ctrl-a). You can switch to the buffer with 'ctrl-a [' (and exit buffer mode with ESC). Navigation follows normal VI keys.

Finally, I noticed that hitting the delete key didn't send backspace as expected with using the OSX terminal. To correct that, add the following to your .screenrc:

termcapinfo xterm-color kD=\E[3~

This tip came from here.

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