I have an ubuntu slice at slicehost, which means it is a DomU on a Xen host - and it's a pretty stripped down installation.

The thing that bugs me is that scrolling back in the terminal using shift-pgup doesn't work.

Can anybody tell me what package enables this scrollback functionality (so I can check if it is installed) - or if you have any other insights into why it might not be working, let me know.

(note: I am currently running screen with "defscrollback 1024" set, but it still doesn't work)


Add this to ~/.screenrc log out of screen and back in:

shell "/usr/bin/bash"
termcapinfo xterm* ti@:te@
  • 1
    The second line was all needed. (I am using zsh) – OverCoder Sep 21 '18 at 14:47

Screen disables the standard scrollback in your local X terminal, because it is actually a curses program behind the scenes. As Murali said, if you want to use screen's scrollback, you'll need to Ctrl-A esc and then use the regular keys (PgUp/PgDn/cursor) to look through the history. Escape will get you back out.

  • Hmmm. This is NOT the case on other (Debian) servers that I am running screen on. I can still use shift-pgup to scroll back on those servers. – Brent Jun 15 '09 at 19:50
  • 1
    Vi key bindings (hjkl, Ctrl+F, Ctrl+B, / for search etc) will also work in screen's scrollback. – Murali Suriar Jun 15 '09 at 19:50
  • Oh - also, this is NOT an "X terminal" - it is an ssh session. – Brent Jun 15 '09 at 19:52
  • And what is your SSH session running in, perchance? – womble Jun 15 '09 at 22:20

Is the screen session on your local or remote machine? If it's on the remote, then try going into screen's scroll back mode (Ctrl+A, [ by default).

Does Shift+PgUp work, out of interest?

  • My mistake - I meant shift-pgup (not ctrl-pgup). – Brent Jun 15 '09 at 19:46
  • +1 Ctrl-A [ does give me scrollback functionality (although not the same as I am used to.) – Brent Jun 15 '09 at 19:47
  • Screen's scrollback also allows you to copy and paste between mutliple screen windows. Ctrl-A [ puts you into copy mode; hit space once to set you first mark, space again for the second mark. Then Ctrl-A ] will paste the contents of the buffer into the window you're currently in. – Murali Suriar Jun 15 '09 at 19:49

If you use PuTTY as your terminal, with a screen session running on the server, you must check the box next to "Disable switching to alternate terminal screen" in PuTTY Configuration Terminal->Features. The scroll-back then works as usual.

  • I am using gnome-terminal, not PuTTY - but thanks. – Brent Oct 9 '09 at 15:24

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