I am running Ubuntu Server and want to have multiple terminals. Screen works fine but..it is not user friendly. I mean..after pressing Ctrl+A you get no notification of you being in command mode, in order to display terminals you have to enter " which is not friendly at all (on my keyboard it is Shift+1), and so on..

I looked at byobu but it seems bugged: the cpu status lines keep increasing downside up and eventually cover my screen..but overall I still don't like it much.

I was searching for something with nano's graphic..with bottom part of the screen filled with instruction/status and upper part, of course, my current terminal.

Does something like that exist? Or, alternatively, can you help me fix the byobu bug?

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    "user friendly" is rather subjective ;) "screen" indeed has it flaws but I do not consider it "user unfriendly" ;) – Rinzwind Apr 18 '14 at 10:24

Tmux is a rewrite of GNU Screen, tmux offers a variety of improvements. Some of the most important include a client-server model, which allows you to connect to a tmux session from multiple locations, and a cleaner configuration file format. Check out tmux’s FAQ to discover a list of ways it differs from GNU Screen.

Use this command to install tmux on Ubuntu:

sudo apt-get install tmux

How to on howtogeek. That link also has something on Dvtm & Dtach (Dvtm is a console multiplexer inspired by tiling window managers, and dtach adds the ability to detach from and reattach to dvtm sessions).

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I think byobu is a more friendly alternative. It uses tmux as backend, so you have friendly byobu shortcuts, and also tmux ones (by default Ctrl+a+..., you can change it with F9 or byobu-config).

From its site (see also there the excellent screencast):

Byobu is a GPLv3 open source text-based window manager and terminal multiplexer. It was originally designed to provide elegant enhancements to the otherwise functional, plain, practical GNU Screen, for the Ubuntu server distribution. Byobu now includes an enhanced profiles, convenient keybindings, configuration utilities, and toggle-able system status notifications for both the GNU Screen window manager and the more modern Tmux terminal multiplexer, and works on most Linux, BSD, and Mac distributions.

Install it with

sudo apt install byobu

A screenshot using hollywood:


I use it with Guake in full-screen, hiding its tabs since byobu have that feature (and more) already. Not another window: Just there at F12.
Maybe Tilix fullscreen Quake mode would be an alternative.

I wrote a related answer here.

Here is also a howtogeek article about it.

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  • Indeed. Byobu is a combination of screen and tmux but actually usable. – Andrea Lazzarotto Mar 2 '18 at 23:55

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