The `screen` package is deprecated and not included in RHEL8.0.0.

Solution In Progress - Updated -

Environment

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7
  • screen

Issue

  • How to install the screen package in RHEL8.0.0?
  • The screen package is not available in RHEL8.

Resolution

After careful consideration, the decision was made to deprecate the screen package and instead recommend the tmux package. The screen utility has an old code base that is not easy to maintain and with little activity in the upstream community. The tmux package was viewed as having a better code base to maintain and build new features upon. Maintaining both within RHEL was becoming increasingly unfeasible when considering keeping up with CVE security errata, government security certifications, and similar requirements. For those concerned with DISA STIG requirements, tmux satisfies the requirement as an alternative to screen.

The screen utility was marked as deprecated with the release of RHEL 7.6 and was not included as part of RHEL 8.0.

In appreciation for the friction of change this imposes on RHEL users, work is underway on a transition guide to help users switch. For example, screen bindings for tmux are available, and a community supported version of screen exists in EPEL 8 repository1.

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4 Comments

What do you recommend for serial connections, since tmux does not support opening a serial device the way that screen did?

e.g.

screen /dev/ttyS0 115200

I'm in the same situation; I used screen a lot to connect to various serial ports (switches, APC PDUs, UPS, etc...). It looks like minicom is available in the RHEL8 repos as an alternative for us. I'm going to try and describe my initial setup, since it's a little different than screen.

First, minicom has a system-wide default configuration defined in /etc/minirc.dfl. Changing the defaults and creating additional profiles/configurations which have unique ports, bitrates, stopbits, parity, etc... can be done interactively by running minicom -s or minicom --setup. At a minimum, you probably want to make changes in the "Serial port setup" and "Modem and dialing" menus. N.B. The Init/Reset strings appear empty, but in fact have generated data in them. You may want to edit those values, and make sure they are empty. Finally, you can save your changes as the new defaults (Save setup as dfl) or as a named profile which can be loaded from the command-line via minicom someConfigName

When you want to disconnect / exit from minicom you use the screen-like keyboard commands of Control-A + X. A list of all of the commands can be found in the man pages.

Update: I recently read a nice article about using "tio" from EPEL to access serial devices. https://opensource.com/article/20/5/tio-linux

Can we get an up-to-date version of tmux? RHEL7 uses tmux 1.8, but the latest version is 3.1 (https://github.com/tmux/tmux/wiki).