Terminal Software Switch

Velocet math at velocet.ca
Wed Feb 20 09:06:45 PST 2002

On Wed, Feb 20, 2002 at 05:39:19AM -0800, Aleksey Tsalolikhin's all...
>   Let's say I've started 20 xterms, each with an ssh session to a
> (different) host. Can I bring one of these xterms to the foreground
> by hostname?  
>   E.g. I have xterm/ssh sessions to hosts: apple, banana, orange,
> and tomato. :)  I'd like to run an app that will make a small window
> pop up, I type "apple", (or "a", and have a name completion routine
> fill out the rest), hit Enter, and voila, the xterm with the ssh
> session to "apple" is brought from background or iconization to
> foreground.

Use screen. <meta> ' <screenname> and suddenly that screen is on your xterm.
Works great. I have 50 screens (the max) left open to various machines on our
networks, from cluster nodes and fileservers to my home machine, process
servers, friend's remote boxes. impossible to track without naming the screen
exactly the same as the machine's name. (Yes its secure, they're all ssh
sessions, and root has to login with a real pty as me to get control of my
screens - ie you need to hack root or my password to get into my screens - and
I can lock them with a password.)

Extra bonus: you can reattach to an already attached screen. screen -x and you
have two heads on the same session. I just go from home to work and have the
exact same environment with everything as is on both ends.  (Some care needs
to be taken to match window sizes to truly benefit from this, but you can also
send a SIGWINCH with <meta>F as needed.) This interactive stuff is pretty
neat when teaching people as well, or to be party to something that
only allows a single session (serial switch console, etc).

Hint: dont use ^A as your meta in screen or you'll cry with jove/emacs/bash.
^O seems to be among the few things not overused. (^Q doesnt work so well
with ancient in-band flow control protocols suddenly being reinstated
by various apps for no reason. -sigh-). Man screen.

Oh did I mention searcheable scrollback of n lines? You can cut and paste
with keyboard with a paste routine thats much more reliable than X's cut n
paste for large numbers of lines. (X's cutnpaste loses stuff with large
pastes. Could just be the xterm's key input routines, but screens just
works.) You can also cutnpaste between windows in the same screen session
of course. 

Screen is just THE killer app.

/kc - screen worshipper.

>   With 30 different xterms open, this would be VERY handy.
>   Has anybody else run into this already/solved it?
> Best regards,
> Aleksey.
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Ken Chase, math at velocet.ca  *  Velocet Communications Inc.  *  Toronto, CANADA 

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