Linux tip: Using multiple terminals with byobu

Move over screen, a better terminal multiplexer is here.

Page 2 of 2

However, there are two alternatives to quitting a

byobu
session: locking and disconnecting. The first, activated with F12, locks access to your screen data until you enter your system password.

The second is the most powerful feature of

screen
and also works beautifully in
byobu
: You can exit it and do other things for a while and then reconnect later; both
screen
and
byobu
pick up where you left off. For example, you could be typing at your desk, detach from a session and go home, reconnect, and carry on as if nothing had changed. What’s more, all the programs you ran from
screen
or
byobu
carry on running even while
screen
or
byobu
is disconnected. It even automatically disconnects for you if someone closes your terminal window while it is in a locked state (with Ctrl+A+X).

To disconnect, press F6. You are returned to the prompt from which you launched

screen
or
byobu
and can carry on working, close the terminal you had opened, or even log out completely. When you want to reconnect, run the command
screen -R
or
byobu -R
. You can, in the meantime, just run
screen
or
byobu
and start a new session without resuming the previous one, but that is not wise if you value your sanity. You can disconnect and reconnect the same session as many times you want, which potentially means you need never lose your session again.

Although this has been a mere taste of what

byobu
and
screen
can do, hopefully you can see how useful they can be. Check the man pages for each to learn more.

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