Using screen to attach and detach console sessions

If you run a program in SSH, and then close out ssh you can not get back into the console.

However you can use screen to attach + detach a console.

If you have centos, run
yum -y install screen

If you have debian/ubuntu run
apt-get install screen

Once installed, screen is simple to use. Type


run the command you want to run, for example


to detach run: ctrl + a + d

Once detached you can check current screens with

screen -ls

Use screen -r to attach a single screen.

On multiple screens you may see something like:

screen -ls
There are screens on:
119217.pts-3.webhosting1200 (Detached)
344074.pts-13.webhosting1200 (Detached)
825035.pts-1.webhosting1200 (Detached)
650824.downlbk (Detached)
4 Sockets in /var/run/screen/S-root.

In this case attach with the value before pts, for example

screen -r 344074

You can shorthand with screen -r 3 (assuming only one begins with the number 3).


  1. Jim June 29, 2017 at 5:26 pm - Reply

    If the screen is detached, can I close the terminal and the process continue running?

    • Jithin July 4, 2017 at 7:54 am - Reply

      Yes if your server is still running, then you can detach and close the terminal or logout from the SSH session and access the screen session later.

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