After reading the vague official doc of GNU screen( http://www.gnu.org/software/screen/manual/screen.html ) and asking quite some questions at this site. I still cannot figure out how to accomplish such a task with a shell script. This task costs some words to describe.

Assume I'm using PuTTY to telnet into my Linux server.

【STEP 1】 Launch 2 telnet connections .

From putty window 1 (PTWIN1),telnet into Linux Bash shell, execute screen -RR to launch a screen session, and get session name 21385.pts-4.linux-ic37 .

From putty window 2 (PTWIN2), do that same as in PTWIN1, but this time, I get session name 22041.pts-9.linux-ic37 .

Now, we have two screen sessions running simultaneously. We can check this:

$ screen -ls
There are screens on:
    22041.pts-9.linux-ic37  (Attached)
    21385.pts-4.linux-ic37  (Attached)
2 Sockets in /var/run/uscreens/S-chj2.

【STEP 2】

Assume that for some reason, PTWIN1's TCP connection is lost abnormally(but server doesn't know that), and an urgent work is pending on session 21385 and I want to quickly regain control of it. Fortunately, we know the 21385 session is still there, so, I want to have PTWIN2 attach to session 21385. Because I hate to remember the esoteric screen option all the time, so I decide to write a script called sttach.

I hope that

sttach 21385.pts-4.linux-ic37

can let me attach to session 21385(for PTWIN2).

Now, let's say sttach works well and I take control of 21385 on PTWIN2.

【STEP 3】

Some minutes later. I want to go back to work on session 22041. Here, please allow me to have PTWIN2 remain associated with session 21385. What I would like to do is to launch another putty window (PTWIN3), telnet into server, and execute

sttach 22041.pts-9.linux-ic37

in hope that I can resume session 22041 on PTWIN3 .

You can see the benefit of sttach: as long as I know the target session name, I can call it to have my PuTTY window switch to that session, regardless whether the target session is "(Attached)" or "(Detached)", and regardless whether the running context is inside a screen session or not.

Now the question: How to write the (Bash) script sttach? I mean, run screen with appropriate options in sttach to accomplish the goal.

Waiting for your kind answer. Thank you.

My previous questions regarding GNU screen:

My env: openSUSE Linux 11.3, GNU screen 4.00.03 (FAU) 23-Oct-06

  • I think you mean that you're using PuTTY to ssh into your server, not telnet.
    – EEAA
    Apr 7, 2012 at 18:21
  • 1
    Either SSH or telnet is OK. They make no difference when "screen" is concerned in my question. PuTTY supports telnet as well, you know?
    – Jimm Chen
    Apr 8, 2012 at 1:01
  • Is there a reason you dont want to use something like screen -S ptwin1 to start it, and screen -xr ptwin1 to reconnect to it?
    – phemmer
    Apr 8, 2012 at 4:09
  • Yes. I am an Linux admin for my corp, and I want to write some scripts to wrap it up, so that my co-workers don't even have to remember those -S -x -d -r switches.
    – Jimm Chen
    Apr 8, 2012 at 16:23

1 Answer 1


After struggling with screen several days, I give up. I've found the much better alternative, tmux.

tmux is more powerful, and employ a much clear design.

For example, to rename current session, just execute

tmux rename armcross

To rename a alien session, just do

tmux rename -t oldname newname

--regardless of whether it is detached or attached.

To switch to another session, just execute:

tmux switch-client -t <targetsessionname>

--you don't have to know your current session name to do that, no matter target session is in attached or detached state.

I just demonstrate the command-line usage of tmux; for interactive use, tmux is also much better than

This book is a good tutorial on tmux tmux: Productive Mouse-Free Development

==== A word to lain:

PLEASE DO NOT delete my post just because I turn to tmux. This is definitely an ANSWER. It is just like some question is about ten-year-old Linux 2.2 but someone suggest it can be resolved easily using Linux 2.6; NOT like someone saying Windows can do something better than Linux.

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