[Beowulf] Users abusing screen

Prentice Bisbal prentice at ias.edu
Mon Oct 24 06:42:23 PDT 2011

On 10/22/2011 08:02 AM, Ellis H. Wilson III wrote:
> On 10/21/11 15:14, Andrew Piskorski wrote:
>> On Fri, Oct 21, 2011 at 09:10:18AM -0400, Prentice Bisbal wrote:
>>> My opinion is these these are shared resources, and if you aren't
>>> interactively using them, you should log out to free up resources for
>>> others.
>> "running under screen" != "non-interactive".
> What I think Prentice was pointing out here was more along the lines of:
> "non-interactive" >= "running under screen" <= interactive
> Where interactivity is more of a spectrum than a != or =.  More
> pointedly, he stated his users are acting in a non-interactive manner,
> in some cases even after they leave, which is irresponsible at all
> levels.  Obviously he has to balance a rule-set between the good users
> and the bad users, such that abuse isn't quite as easy.

Thanks for coming to my defense, Ellis. I don't think I could have
explained it better myself.

>>> I would like to remove screen from my environment entirely to prevent
>>> this. My fellow sysadmins here agree. I'm expecting massive backlash
>>> from the users.
>> No shit.  If you allow users to login at all, then (IMNSHO) removing
>> screen is insane.  That's not a solution to your problem, that's
>> creating a totally new problem and pretending it's a solution.
> Insane?  I mean, I do a lot of work on a bunch of different distros and
> hardware types, and have found little use for screen /unless/ I was on a
> really, really poor internet connection that cut out on the minutes
> level.  Can you give some examples regarding something you can do with
> screen you cannot do with nohup and tail?

I agree.  I've been a professional sys admin using Unix/Linux day in and
day out for well over 10 years, and not one days has gone by where I saw
a need for screen.
>> I essentially always use screen whenever I ssh to any Linux box for
>> any reason.
> But why?  Just leave a terminal open if you want interactivity,
> otherwise nohup something.  Perhaps I've understated screen's
> usefulness, but I'm glad to be corrected/educated on it's efficacy in
> this area.
> Best,
> ellis
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