GNU Screen : A must for remote developers

Sun 02 November 2008 by Thejaswi Puthraya

GNU Screen : A must for remote developers

Did you ever come across a scenario where you were in the middle of some important work on the terminal and realized that you were out of time and wished you could continue it say from home or from another machine?

Or another scenario, where you could do a show-and-tell with some of your code and collaborate with other users?

GNU Screen helps you in both cases. I recommend it to all remote developers.

Here's how I use it:

  • When at work, I use multiple screen sessions instead of opening multiple terminals. So you have a cleaner toolbar. I detach screens with long running processes and reconnect to them at a much later stage to look at their output.
  • While I was in Hyderabad a couple of weeks back I was updating my VPS and it was taking a long time, so I just detached the screen. After I was back at Chennai, I reattached the screen to check the status of the update.
  • I do a show-and-tell of my code to co-workers using Screen. They join the screen session started by me and I give them a guided tour.

Check out a neat tutorial on how to use it.