The first thing to say is that if you have an existing .screenrc file, you don’t get any notification or prompt about the new features of screen, I was lucky and fell over the information. To get to the features:
- if you have a .screenrc, rename it for a moment
aptitude install screen-profiles screen-profiles-extras
- run screen
EDIT: From Karmic Koala (9.10) and later these packages are now byobu and byobu-extras – they work as outlined here however, just the package names changed.
The first thing you’ll notice is that there’s a whole lot more stuff going on at the bottom of the screen. I have had a custom .screenrc file which gave me tabs for a while, but now they’re part of the standard setup.
If you look in the bottom right corner you’ll see there’s an “F9 Menu” – yep, screen responds to a whole bunch of function keys! I’ll keep my traditional ctrl+a mapping I think, but you can reconfigure this to your hearts content. And look at the menu itself:
You can change the colour themes (more on that another day, I’m still playing with the settings) and you can also turn on and off a load of different widgets, basically lots of different system information. I’ve got most of it turned off on my laptop (since I already have a battery meter etc) but for a server this could be really useful. Examples:
I’m really happy to see Canonical improving this particular tool, and I wanted to mention it purely because existing users of screen won’t see the new functionality by default which seems like a bit of an oversight. If you’re a screen user, upgrade to Jaunty, try it out, and leave a comment on how it works out for you.