Difference Between Screen vs. Tmux

Main Difference

Screen and Tmux both are the terminal multiplexers that have been fabricated for the Unix-like platforms. Although they are in common in many aspects but as well differ from each other on basis of many features. They are equally capable for managing multiple shell instances simultaneously within a single session. Both can offer shared sessions for more than one users connecting at the same time. Screen is GPL based license as a GNU project while Tmux is distributed on the terms of the BSD license. GNU Screen has been around for a longer time as compare to the Tmux. GNU Screen is more-likely to be available on a system to be used. Screen has the feature of “Zmodem Transfer” while Tmux lacks this feature of Zmodem Transfer. GNU Screen offers user to may connect to serial devise (scree-r/dev/ttyS0115200) while this connectivity is not supported by Tmux.

What is Screen?

Screen is the terminal multiplexer fabricated for th Unix-like platforms. It can handle multiple shell instances or “windows” at the same time within a single session. Screen is GPL based license as a GNU project. It offers user to may connect to serial devise (scree-r/dev/ttyS0115200). It is more-likely to be available on a system to be used. Web searches for screen are comparatively difficult as it is used for many different purposes by the word.

What is Tmux?

Tmux is the terminal multiplexer fabricated for th Unix-like platforms. It can handle multiple shell instances or “windows” at the same time within a single session. Tmux is distributed on the terms of the BSD license. It supports the feature of “Synchronize-Panes” in which duplicate input to any of the pane to all other panes in the same window using the command “ctrl-b :set-window-option synchronize-panes on|off” . Window-splitting is far flexible in Tmux. The feature of Client / Server System is only supported by the Tmux for auto start of server instantly when first Tmux session is created. It is quite lightweight and comparatively fast design for terminal multiplexing.

Key Differences

  1. Screen is GPL based license as a GNU project while Tmux is distributed on the terms of the BSD license.
  2. Feature of “Line-Wrapping” is offered by the GNU Screen for toggling long line wrapping by simply Ctrl+a r. While Tmux does not support this feature of “Line Wrapping”.
  3. GNU Screen has been around for a longer time as compare to the Tmux.
  4. Screen has the feature of “Zmodem Transfer” while Tmux lacks this feature of Zmodem Transfer.
  5. The feature of Client / Server System is only supported by the Tmux for auto start of server instantly when first Tmux session is created. But this feature is not supported by Client / Server System.
  6. Tmux supports the feature of “Synchronize-Panes” in which duplicate input to any of the pane to all other panes in the same window using the command “ctrl-b :set-window-option synchronize-panes on|off”. GNU Screen also support this feature but using different command i.e. :”at # stuff “command”.
  7. Window-splitting is far flexible in Tmux as compare to Screen.
  8. GNU Screen offers user to may connect to serial devise (scree-r/dev/ttyS0115200) while this connectivity is not supported by Tmux.
  9. GNU Screen is more-likely to be available on a system to be used.
  10. Tmux offer the option to limit the window size over Screen.
  11. As compare to Screen, Tmux is quite easily scriptable from the shell.
  12. Screen offers wider platform support e.g. IRIX and HP-UX while Tmux omits this feature.
  13. When multiple terminals are attached to single session, In Screen each attached terminal view is independent of the other while In Tmux all attached terminals see the same thing.
  14. In Tmux the frames can be split in both horizontally as well as vertically while on the other hand GNU Screen can only split frames horizontally.

Comparison Video

Author:

Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Turpy Media. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss or on Pinterest @HarlonMoss

View all posts by Harlon Moss