The running of screen

From: Sean 'Captain Napalm' Conner <>
Date: Wed Mar 27 15:37:02 2002

It was thus said that the Great Doc once stated:
> An additional feature of screen is its "detach" function. You can log
> in remotely, start screen, start a job that doesn't support detach,
> detach the screen session, and log out. Log in later, reattach from
> screen, and watch your job. Yes, I'm familiar with nohup, but this is
> more convenient if I'm actually watching output.

  Almost ten years ago [1] I'm in charge of keeping up an SGI Personal Iris
4D-35 running (at the time this happened) IRIX 4.0.1 (or 4.0.5, can't quite
remember) and I had installed screen to allow me several sessions when
dialling in (and since the dial in ports were sometimes flaky, screen would
keep my session alive between disconnects).

  One of my users installed an IRC client [2] on the box. Didn't think much
of it until I came in one day to find that IRIX had kernel paniced. I
rebooted. A few days later the kernel had paniced again. I started getting
suspicious and kept a close watch on what was running. A few days later it
paniced. I talked to the user in question and had him do what I think he
was doing and yup. Kernel panic.

  He would log into the system (from home), start screen. On one of the
sessions, he would fire up IRC to log a certain channel [3], then disconnect
(literally, hang up the phone) and leave screen and IRC running. For some
reason, *that* combination would cause IRIX 4.0.1 to panic and crash the

  After that, I banned the use of IRC on the box. Which was okay, since he
was the only one on that box to use IRC. To drive the point home, I changed
ownership of the IRC client to root, and set the permissions to 000 [4].

  I don't think I've used screen (which I've used under AIX, SunOS, Solaris
and Linux) much since about '96 or '97. I (personally) don't find much need

  -spc (It's still a very cool program)

[1] Seven to eight years ago. I started the job itself ten years
        ago, and the hardward/software is also ten years old (if not a bit
        older) so it's mostly on topic.

[2] Which I didn't mind since it was installed in his account. My
        feelings towards installing software: if *I* used it, or two or
        more users wanted it, I installed it, otherwise you are on your

[3] The X-Files IRC channel. He would log in just prior to the weekly
        show, start up IRC to log the channel during the show, and leave to
        watch the show, then read the logs afterwards.

        I'm not going to pretend to even understand this.

[4] No disk quotas on the system. No real need to, for there were maybe
        half a dozen users of that system (including me), and about half of
        those users never bothered to really use the system.
Received on Wed Mar 27 2002 - 15:37:02 GMT

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