Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

The Amazon AMI images have a default information panel at the bottom of the terminal window. I would like to remove this (it disables me from being able to scroll backwards in putty).

It looks like this at the bottom of my terminal window:

0*$ sh ...
 U  Ubuntu oneiric            1# 3d20h 0.00 2.6GHz 592MB,43% 2011-09-26 18:12:05
share|improve this question
I have never seen this before in my Ubuntu AMIs. Weird. – Marco Ceppi Sep 28 '11 at 23:40
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Unfortunately, the 11.10 AMIs automatically run the screen command on ssh from a terminal using a package named byobu which uses up the bottom two lines with colorful line noise.

You can disable this on a given instance by typing the command:


which will log you out. The next ssh will work fine.

Note: This post includes statements that express my personal opinions. Other people have different opinions.

share|improve this answer
Can you tell me more about what you mean by "pre-release"? What "production" release should I be using? I had just assumed that the AMIs posted on the site were production ready. – David Parks Sep 27 '11 at 3:40
Oneiric will be released next month. Right now for production you might want to use Natty or Lucid (LTS). – Eric Hammond Sep 27 '11 at 8:31
Eric, there hasn't been much public disagreement with the byobu by default policy. It would be best to bring it up on the ubuntu-devel-discuss or ubuntu-server mailing lists, as there is still time to change it, but as of now, no reason has been given to the Ubuntu developers to change it. – SpamapS Sep 27 '11 at 15:12
I'm in support of Eric's comments, as a simple user, it makes me me feel like this is not a vanilla OS and makes me concerned (and sure annoys me to have to go fix it to even do multiple terminal windows). – David Parks Sep 27 '11 at 16:33
SpamapS: I publicly disagreed with the byobu policy when it was proposed for a couple releases, but when it became clear that it was going to be repeatedly attempted to be included in every new release, I gave up. I expect to see a strong backlash against the policy when it goes public which should make the point better than I have been able to, and if the public loves the new policy then I was fighting for the wrong usability principles. – Eric Hammond Sep 28 '11 at 7:16

When you launch an instance in EC2 you have the option of supplying "user data" which is available to the instance at first boot (and later.) Ubuntu consumes the user data with a program called cloud-init, which is incredibly powerful.

You can disable byobu using the user-friendly cloud-config feature of cloud-init.

To disable byobu all you have to do is supply this two-line user data:

byobu_by_default: disable

Full details about cloud-init here:

Cloud-config syntax, including all the other amazing things you can do with it, here:

share|improve this answer

If scrolling is what you're looking for in Byobu, use the key combinations:




share|improve this answer

Just use sudo apt-get remove screen


share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.