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2 Getting Started

Before you begin to use screen you'll need to make sure you have correctly selected your terminal type, just as you would for any other termcap/terminfo program. (You can do this by using tset, qterm, or just set term=mytermtype, for example.)

If you're impatient and want to get started without doing a lot more reading, you should remember this one command: C-a ? (see Key Binding). Typing these two characters will display a list of the available screen commands and their bindings. Each keystroke is discussed in the section on keystrokes (see Default Key Bindings). Another section (see Customization) deals with the contents of your .screenrc.

If your terminal is a “true” auto-margin terminal (it doesn't allow the last position on the screen to be updated without scrolling the screen) consider using a version of your terminal's termcap that has automatic margins turned off. This will ensure an accurate and optimal update of the screen in all circumstances. Most terminals nowadays have “magic” margins (automatic margins plus usable last column). This is the VT100 style type and perfectly suited for screen. If all you've got is a “true” auto-margin terminal screen will be content to use it, but updating a character put into the last position on the screen may not be possible until the screen scrolls or the character is moved into a safe position in some other way. This delay can be shortened by using a terminal with insert-character capability.

See Special Capabilities, for more information about telling screen what kind of terminal you have.