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I've inherited a few sys admin tasks recently and am trying to wrap my head around using screen. The way the previous guy left it, there are four screen sessions running, some of which have two or three windows running within.

It doesn't appear that he was using any particular convention, so I ask you: Is it better to have each process in its own screen session, or better to group similar processes into windows within a single screen? Or something different entirely?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

I've done it both ways, but I much prefer to have a single Screen session, with multiple "tabs". Doing it this way is much easier than trying to remember which Screen session you need to attach to to do task X.

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+1. I leave a screen session running at each of my customer sites and on connect that's the first place I go. Sites I frequently touch I even know that "tab" 0 is for foo, tab 1 is for bar, etc... – David Mackintosh May 5 '10 at 2:58

It's really as you wish.. Usually i only use one screen with multiple windows (which can be renamed from the default name - control-a A , so it's even easier to find the right window), but i don't like to have more than 10 windows (0-9) so sometimes i use another screen which can also be named (screen -S ) so when reattaching it's easy to find the right one with a screen -list.

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Purely personal preference.

I have one screen for each of my three datacenters with a 'window' for every host/device at the dc. That works at this job but wouldn't have worked at my last.

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I have a couple of long-running jobs which I keep in their own (named) screen sessions so that I can quickly log in and attach to them to monitor their progress. For normal stuff, though, I'll tend to have one screen session on a host with multiple windows within it.

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