Two answers in this question state that screen is unmaintained. However, the GNU repository of screen shows an upload this year after 6 years, and 14.04 has two newer versions than the earlier Ubuntu releases (one in the main release, and one in backports, from 14.10). Unmaintained software get dropped from Ubuntu, but screen remained even after a six-year period of inactivity. So what is the status of screen in general, and in Ubuntu? Will it remain (reasonably) maintained, or should I switch to tmux or other alternatives?

  • 3
    I looked at the GNU screen home page and there was no mention that the project was unmaintained. In addition, as you say, there was a release this year. I suggest you ask on their mailing list. – Panther Nov 3 '14 at 3:06
  • I think there was a fork of screen called Byobu which was easy to customize. – Paul Nov 3 '14 at 11:58
  • 1
    Unless you have lots of customizations, use tmux anyway. At the very least, use it for a day or two and figure out if you like it enough to invest in migrating your configuration over. – new123456 Nov 3 '14 at 13:15
  • 3
    @Paul byobu isn't a fork but a frontend to multiplexers, I think. – muru Nov 3 '14 at 13:16
  • 4
    To close voter(s): I am not looking for a recommendation based on quality, features, etc., but on something that can be determined as a fact: Is screen maintained or not? – muru Nov 3 '14 at 15:33

Amadeusz Sławiński, GNU Screen’s new primary upstream maintainer uploaded 2 versions this year:

From the 4.2.0 announcement:

With this I also plan to put v.4 into maintenance mode and start developing v.5 with cleaned up source code, new features

Clearly the project is not unmaintained, but as many other projects it requires contributors to fix bugs and work on new features.


  • I wondered if the releases were a "Ok, we're shutting up shop, but here are some bug fixes."-style closing-up clearance. If the maintainer is new and plans to start developing new versions, that's great news. – muru Nov 3 '14 at 3:14

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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