I'm trying to write a script to:

  1. Start a new screen session
  2. Run some program or script within that new screen session
  3. Detach from the screen session, while the program from step 2 may still be running in there. If the program from step 2 finishes, immediately or later, the screen session should remain running (detached).

I have been trying all sorts of combinations with screen -X program or screen -S somename followed by program followed by screen -D, combining with -d or -m options which I find in related questions and answers but nothing works.

The closest I could get was this:

screen -S MySessionName -d -m myprogram

This launches a new screen session in the backgroun, running myprogram. Except as soon as myprogram finishes (sometimes instantly) the screen session terminates, whereas I want to keep it running.

  • Have you checked these answers ? >> askubuntu.com/questions/62562/…
    – Rooney
    Dec 4, 2017 at 13:09
  • @Rooney Yes, and this comes pretty close: screen -S test -d -m myprogram except the screen session terminates after myprogram is finished. I'll add this in my post for completeness.
    – RocketNuts
    Dec 4, 2017 at 16:23

1 Answer 1


Method 1

I created a demo setup you described here in my machine. I also faced the issue you reported. But adding a small line of script solved my issue.

I added the following line at the end of myprogram

exec $SHELL

After your script is finished, the Bash process will replace itself with a new invocation of itself.

Method 2

Or you can try the following method in which we start a detached screen first and send command to that screen using stuff

For this first you need to start a detached screen.

screen -dmS MySessionName

And then send the script to that screen.

screen -S MySessionName -p 0 -X stuff 'myprogram\n'

This also worked for me.

  • 1
    Brilliant, that 2nd method is perfect!
    – RocketNuts
    Dec 4, 2017 at 20:03
  • 1
    Hi, Rooney, I'm not sure but probably you could change sleep infinity from Method 1 to exec bash or exec $SHELL - analogically to the solutions provided here: With a launcher for a terminal application, how can I keep the terminal open after the program is complete?
    – pa4080
    Dec 5, 2017 at 9:19
  • 1
    Hi, @pa4080 You are right. thanks for the reply. Now the screen stays detached and i can continue to the screen, while using sleep infinity the only available option is terminate the screen manually.
    – Rooney
    Dec 5, 2017 at 9:43
  • The second method is perfect for when my script crashes and doesn't get around to invokating itself. Many thanks! May 16, 2020 at 13:53
  • When I use method 2 the screen hasn't actually executed the myprogram -- it has just typed this into the screens terminal. Is there a way to also execute it?
    – David
    Jan 9, 2023 at 18:56

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