I'd like to start a screen session inside an LXD-managed container so that I could detach running processes and maybe re-attach in the future when I want to check on their status.

I tried to attach to the container running

$ lxc exec my-ubuntu -- /bin/bash

and then start a session with screen -x, but I get the following error:

Must be connected to a terminal.

I can see that many people have had a similar problem when trying to initiate screen from ssh, but I couldn't apply the suggested solution to my case.

2 Answers 2


For LXD using

lxc exec my-ubuntu -- sh -c "exec >/dev/tty 2>/dev/tty </dev/tty && /usr/bin/screen -s /bin/bash"


lxc exec my-ubuntu -- sh -c "exec >/dev/tty 2>/dev/tty </dev/tty && /usr/bin/screen -x"

or with any other screen switch.

The same for Docker ;)

docker run -it my-ubuntu sh -c "exec >/dev/tty 2>/dev/tty </dev/tty && /usr/bin/screen -s /bin/bash"
  • Terrific. But how can I then work with screen the way I normally do, monitor which sessions are running and re-attach to a specific one? Jan 2, 2016 at 19:40
  • I don't understand. In the same way as before. E.g. using -R.
    – A.B.
    Jan 2, 2016 at 19:42
  • Answer updated.
    – A.B.
    Jan 2, 2016 at 19:45
  • Well, I would normally do screen -x, but trying lxc exec my-ubuntu -- sh -c "exec >/dev/tty 2>/dev/tty </dev/tty && /usr/bin/screen -x doesn't work, and neither does lxc exec my-ubuntu -- sh -c "exec >/dev/tty 2>/dev/tty </dev/tty && /usr/bin/screen -r <pid>.tty.my-ubuntu". Nor can I do screen -x from within bash in the container. Jan 2, 2016 at 19:48
  • What's about -R
    – A.B.
    Jan 2, 2016 at 19:51

For me, the simple solution was to start screen on the host instead of in the container.

user@localhost:~$ screen
user@localhost:~$ lxc-attach -n yourcontainer
root@container:~# ./start-gameserver.sh
root@container:~# #Use "Ctrl+A:sessionname mygame<Enter>" to set a screen name
root@container:~# #and use the usual "Ctrl+A,D" to disconnect from screen
user@localhost:~$ screen -ls
There is a screen on:
    25418.mygame    (04/15/2019 11:41:56 PM)    (Detached)
user@localhost:~$ screen -r mygame
root@container:~# #etc.

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