Updated: screen, now with 256-color support!

Andrew Schulman schulman.andrew@epamail.epa.gov
Mon Aug 31 21:33:00 GMT 2009

A new version of the screen package (4.0.3-3 for Cygwin 1.5, 4.0.3-4 for
Cygwin 1.7) is now available in the Cygwin distribution.

screen is a terminal multiplexer and window manager that runs several
separate 'screens' on a single physical character-based terminal.  Each
virtual terminal emulates a DEC VT100 plus several ANSI X3.64 and ISO 2022
functions.  You can create multiple windows with any programs in them, kill
the current window, switch between windows or copy text between them, view
a list of active windows, rename windows, view scrollback history, and
more.  You can detach your session and even log out if you wish; your
programs will keep running, and you can reattach later, maybe when logged
in from a different host.

This version of screen adds provisional 256-color support.  The 256-color
support hasn't been well tested yet, so the current packages are being
released for now as test releases, which means that they won't
automatically be installed for you the next time you run setup.exe.  To see
and install them, in setup you'll have to navigate to the screen package,
and click on the value in the New column until it lists the new test

Instructions for starting screen with 256 color support are in 
/usr/share/doc/screen/README.Cygwin.  In brief, you have to invoke screen

TERM=screen-256color screen

You can then run /usr/share/screen/256colors.pl to check whether your
terminal is really displaying 256 colors.

In Cygwin 1.7, I've only tested 256-color support in PuTTYcyg.  It works
pretty well there, with some anomalies.  It may or may not work well in
other terminals, so if you're using it, please post a report with your
Cygwin version and what terminal you're using.  Once I have enough test
reports to know how well it's working, I'll move the package from test to

In Cygwin 1.5, I haven't tested this version of screen at all, because I no
longer have a working Cygwin 1.5 installation.  The package did work when I
originally built it in 1.5 a year ago, so it should work now, but again
I'll need to have a reasonable number of test reports (good or bad) before
I'll consider making this release the current one.  Again please post your
test reports, including your Cygwin version and terminal type.

Happy screening!
Andrew E. Schulman

caption always '%-Lw%{.kG} %n%f %t %{-}%+Lw'


To update your installation, click on the "Install Cygwin now" link on
the http://cygwin.com/ web page.  This downloads setup.exe to your
system.  Then, run setup and answer all of the questions.


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