I write here a very concise guide to linux screen (ok, I assume you know something about linux, even if you are a biologist…).
It takes five minutes to learn and you can live with it for all of your life. Trust me, I’m a biologist!
If you work on a remote server and there is an interruption of your internet/LAN connection, all you were doing is gone. Screen prevents you against these data losses.
How does it work?
Simple. To create a screen or resume an existing screen you can use the ever useful command
Then, when you are in screen you can do all your work ignoring you are in screen except that you have a series of screen commands that help you create several screens inside the same terminal and also move around them.
Any screen command starts pressing at the same time ctrl-a (yes, even in mac).
AFTER pressing ctrl-a you can press one of the following letters:
c: create an additional screen
n: move to next screen (if existing)
p: move to previous screen (if existing)
d: detach screen
The only command that needs not be preceded by ctrl-a is exit. If you type exit inside screen you will quite screen and erase it from memory (so do not type exit if you have unsaved work).