Using screen for linux background processing

Perfect for long running batch jobs on a remote server over unreliable connections or if you want to bring your laptop home (instead of keeping that terminal running).

Log in and run
screen -t title_of_your_choice

Do the same thing again if you want to create another window.

All the following screen commands are preceeded by Ctrl-a (i.e. first press ctrl-a then the shortcut below)

  • 0-9 – switch to window by id
  • Ctrl-n – next window
  • Ctrl-a – previous window
  • d – quit screen (leaving it running)
  • k – kill window

The next day, log in as usual and attach to the screen session using

screen -x

Check the man page for screen for other options and shortcuts.