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4.1 The .screenrc file

When screen is invoked, it executes initialization commands from the files .screenrc in the user’s home directory and /usr/local/etc/screenrc. These defaults can be overridden in the following ways: For the global screenrc file screen searches for the environment variable $SYSSCREENRC (this override feature may be disabled at compile-time). The user specific screenrc file is searched for in $SCREENRC, then $HOME/.screenrc. The command line option ‘-c’ specifies which file to use (see Invoking Screen. Commands in these files are used to set options, bind commands to keys, and to automatically establish one or more windows at the beginning of your screen session. Commands are listed one per line, with empty lines being ignored. A command’s arguments are separated by tabs or spaces, and may be surrounded by single or double quotes. A ‘#’ turns the rest of the line into a comment, except in quotes. Unintelligible lines are warned about and ignored. Commands may contain references to environment variables. The syntax is the shell-like $VAR or ${VAR}. Note that this causes incompatibility with previous screen versions, as now the ’$’-character has to be protected with ’\’ if no variable substitution is intended. A string in single-quotes is also protected from variable substitution.

Two configuration files are shipped as examples with your screen distribution: etc/screenrc and etc/etcscreenrc. They contain a number of useful examples for various commands.