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I have my personal stuff hosted with a company that uses cpanel. It seems that a "feature" of cpanel is that the hosting company can use their "jailshell" when granting (terminal, not goofy AJAX faked) SSH access. Unfortunately you do not have access to /dev/pty and when trying to run screen you get the error:

Must be connected to a terminal.

I have also tried "ssh -t screen" but get the same result.

Has anyone every gotten screen to work under jailshell, or on a host where you do not have access to /dev/pty?

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closed as off-topic by Falcon Momot, Bryan, Michael Hampton Jun 28 '13 at 19:56

  • This question does not appear to be about server, networking, or related infrastructure administration within the scope defined in the help center.
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

This question appears to be off-topic because it is about how to work around a restriction intentionally set up by a service of which you are a user. – Falcon Momot Jun 28 '13 at 9:20
This question appears to be off-topic because it concerns the use of shared web hosting by end users or resellers, rather than the administration of web hosting. – Michael Hampton Jun 28 '13 at 19:56
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Nicely ask your host to enable /bin/bash It's literally a one click "upgrade" in WHM that takes 10 seconds to enable. If they won't do it, then you are stuck as everyone else has said.

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I did ask for access to bash and was told that it would give me root access and they, of course, can't do that on a shared server. I know that is a load of crap because my day job is as a MySQL DBA, Linux System Administrator, and Manager of a team of Linux System Administrators. I didn't argue because I know that arguing with someone who is willing to lie to you and insult your intelligence... is a fruitless demonstration of your lack of intelligence. What I didn't know is that WHM controls it. I will try to social engineer my way into it. Thanks for the lead. – Bruno Bronosky Jul 27 '09 at 3:56
@jemmille, I had root access but not WHM acceess (it's my client's VPS server). Can I do this from root account instead? Is changing the user shell into /bin/bash is enough? – Donny Kurnia Sep 30 '11 at 4:08

You need pseudo tty's for screen to work, there's no way around that. Unless you can convince your hosting company to bind mount /dev in to your chroot jail there's not really much else you can hope to do.

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You don't GNU Screen needs a working pty to function correctly.

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Screen needs a proper tty to work. It needs an environment as good as when you would login using telnet/ssh/console (ie. a working terminal).

  • Ram
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No offense, but I hope there is something you guys are overlooking. I'm going to leave this open a little longer. What I have is a working terminal (ssh connection), but I have a limited (possibly chrooted) shell. – Bruno Bronosky Jun 12 '09 at 6:14

You're stuck. Screen needs a tty to work.

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