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Git Snapshot of GNU Screen in Debian Experimental //at 01:09 //by abe

from the resurrection dept.

I just uploaded a snapshot of GNU Screen to Debian Experimental. The package (4.1.0~20110819git450e8f3-1) is based on upstream’s HEAD whose most recent commit currently dates to the 19th of August 2011.

While the upload fixes tons of bugs which accumulated over the past two years in Debian’s, Ubuntu’s and upstream’s bug tracker, I don’t yet regard it as suitable for the next stable release (and hence for Debian Unstable) since there’s one not so nice issue about it:

  • #644788: screen 4.1.0 can’t attach to a running/detached screen 4.0.3 session

Nevertheless it fixes a lot of open issues (of which the oldest is a wishlist bug report dating back to 1998 :-) and I didn’t want to withhold it from the rest of the Debian community so I uploaded it to Debian Experimental.

Issues closed in Debian Experimental

  • #25096: digraph table should be run-time configurable
  • #152961: lacks tsl/fsl/dsl caps
  • #176626: mini-curses type of interface for screen -r w/ multiple screens? (Fixed by suggesting iselect, screenie or byobu)
  • #223320: does not switch mouse mode
  • #344759: mishandles xterm control string to set window title
  • #353090: please enable the built-in telnet
  • #361274: cannot reattach to sessionname if there is another session with similar sessionname
  • #450421: please raise MAXWIN to at least 100 (merged with #499273)
  • #461107: Requires test -t 0 even when opening a new window on existing screen
  • #481411: window created with ‘-d -m’ silently ignores ‘-X exec’
  • #488619: Session name string escape
  • #496750: screen -d -m and -D -m segfault if setenv given with no value in a configuration file
  • #532240: screen with caption SEGVs when resized to 1 line tall
  • #541793: “C-a h” (mis)documented twice
  • #558724: breaks altscreen
  • #560231: Please remove restriction on user/login name length
  • #578729: outputs spaces when refreshing/attaching a window with “defbce on”
  • #591624: segfault when running “screen -d -m” with “layout save default” in .screenrc
  • #603009: Updating the screen Uploaders list
  • #612990: /etc/init.d/screen-cleanup: should check for existence of screen binary
  • #621704: Fix slow scrolling in vertical splits
  • #630535: manpage typo
  • #641867: version bump (this bug report sparked the upload :-)

Update: Issues also closed in Debian Experimental, but not (yet) mentioned in the Debian changelog

  • #238535: screen lock can no more be bypassed by reattaching.
  • #446082: Shows cursor in front of the selected window in “windowlist -b”.
  • #522689: Passes signals to programs running inside screen on kfreebsd.
  • #526002: Adds focus left/right commands.
  • #611453: Documents vertical split in man-page.
  • #621804 and #630976: Allows longer $TERM than 20 characters

Issues which will be closed in Ubuntu

  • #183849: update to git version of screen
  • #315237: crashes with certain options and terminal sizes
  • #582153: doesn’t accept login names longer than 20 chars
  • #588846: slow when using vertical split
  • #702094: Copying and pasting from mutt includes many trailing spaces
  • #786292: segfaults if using layout saving with “-D -m”
  • #788670: segfault in screen/byobu in natty

Please test the version from Experimental

If you are affected by one of the issues mentioned above, please try the version from Debian Experimental and check if they’re resolved for you, too.

Thanks to all who contributed!

A lot of the fixes have been made or applied upstream by Sadrul Habib Chowdhury who also industriously tagged Debian bug reports as “fixed-upstream”. Thanks!

Thanks also to Brian P Kroth who gave the initial spark to this upload by packaging Fedora 15’s git snapshot for Debian and filing bug although the upload is based on the current HEAD version of GNU Screen as this fixes some more important issues than the snapshot Fedora 15 includes. That way also two patches from Fedora/RedHat’s screen package are included in this upload.

(Co-) Maintainer wanted!

Oh, and if you care about the state of GNU Screen in Debian, I’d really appreciate if you’d join in and contribute to our collab-maint git repository – there are still a lot of issues unresolved and I know that I won’t be able to fix all of them myself. And since Hessophanes unfortunately currently has not enough time for the package, we definitely need more people maintaining this package.


Yes, I know about tmux and tried to get some of my setups working with it, too. But I still prefer screen over tmux. :-)

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This is the blog or weblog of Axel Stefan Beckert (aka abe or XTaran) who thought, he would never start blogging... (He also once thought, that there is no reason to switch to this new ugly Netscape thing because Mosaïc works fine. That was about 1996.) Well, times change...

He was born 1975 at Villingen-Schwenningen, made his Abitur at Schwäbisch Hall, studied Computer Science with minor Biology at University of Saarland at Saarbrücken (Germany) and now lives in Zürich (Switzerland), working at the Network Security Group (NSG) of the Central IT Services (Informatikdienste) at ETH Zurich.

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