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Updating GNU screen on Raspbian

Updating GNU screen on Raspbian

I've been frustrated for a few years that GNU screen didn't have emoji support but I just rechecked the issue... And guess what? It's fixed as of version 4.6.0!! While this is great news, the last available version in raspbian is 4.1.0, meaning that yes, we have to compile.


The steps are easy:

  • Install the libncurses5-dev dependency: sudo apt-get install libncurses5-dev
  • Download the desired version source code, I went with 4.6.2:
  • Extract the downloaded file tar -xvzf screen-4.6.2.tar.gz
  • Go to the extracted folder and now it's time to configure and make:
./configure --prefix=/usr                     \
          --infodir=/usr/share/info         \
          --mandir=/usr/share/man           \
          --with-socket-dir=/run/screen     \
          --with-pty-group=5                \
          --with-sys-screenrc=/etc/screenrc &&
sed -i -e "s%/usr/local/etc/screenrc%/etc/screenrc%" {etc,doc}/* &&
  • Then as root: make install && install -m 644 etc/etcscreenrc /etc/screenrc
  • After installing I had to fix some permissions: chown root:utmp /usr/bin/screen && chmod 2755 /usr/bin/screen

There you go, updated GNU Screen (emoji support! yay!).


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