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Re: Beginner Question: Is GNU Screen still in active development? Will

From: Axel Beckert
Subject: Re: Beginner Question: Is GNU Screen still in active development? Will there be future releases?
Date: Thu, 13 Oct 2011 12:32:09 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.18 (2008-05-17)


On Thu, Oct 13, 2011 at 08:16:44AM +0900, Yasuaki Kudo wrote:
> Beginner Question:  Is GNU Screen still in active development?

>From an outsider (user and package co-maintainer for Debian) view:
Yes, there is developement, but not so much that it gets noticed

See yourself at

> Will there be future releases?

The current development version is labeled as (non-released) 4.1.0 and
"4.1.0" is given as target milestone for tons of (AFAICS mostly fixed)
bugs in the bug tracking system. So I expect a 4.1.0 release (and also
hope for it :-), but I can't give you an ETA.

> Regarding the subject, just wanted to know this because I am trying
> to decide whether to go with Screen or Tmux.

For a non-beginner I'd say, stay with screen if you're happy with it,
have a look at tmux if you're unhappy with screen. I stayed with
screen and gave up with tmux after I tried hours to get one of my
setups working with tmux. :-)

But as a long-time screen user I hesitate to give advice for
beginners, as I'm probably biased and have problems to see what would
be relevant for beginners. :-)

I'd say: Try both, see which fits you better. Both are common
nowadays, both have advantages and disadvantages. And I'm sure neither
screen nor tmux won't vanish anytime soon from the free software
landscape. :-)

Also have a look at byobu which is said to be a beginners-friendly and
colorful wrapper around screen. It's available as package or port at
least in Debian, Ubuntu, FreeBSD, Gentoo, and Arch AUR. Or visit their
website at

> Screen seems more mature (but I might not be qualified enough to say
> this :-) ) .

... but there's also a reason why someone wrote tmux. :-)

One screen issue which end-users seem to run into often -- at least on
Debian and Ubuntu -- is that screen no more works if you "su" to some
user and then that user no more has write access to the TTY the shell
runs in.

tmux doesn't seem to have that problem. And I guess, if you install
screen with setuid, it doesn't have that issue either. But I never
tried it.

On the other hand you will never run into this, if you just "su" into
root as root always has write access to the TTY.


                Kind regards, Axel
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