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6.4. Xterm Title Bars and Screen

Non-screen users should skip this section. Of course, screen is an awesome program and what you should really do is rush out and find out what screen is - if you've read this far in the HOWTO, you're enough of a Command Line Interface Junkie that you need to know.

If you use screen in Xterms and you want to manipulate the title bar, your life may just have become a bit more complicated ... Screen can, but doesn't automatically, treat the Xterm title bar as a hardstatus line (whatever that means, but it's where we put our Xterm title). If you're a RedHat user, you'll probably find the following line in your ~/.screenrc:

       termcapinfo xterm 'hs:ts=\E]2;:fs=\007:ds=\E]2;screen\007'

If that line isn't in there, you should put it in. This allows the titlebar manipulations in the previous section to work under Xterm. But I found they failed when I used rxvt. I e-mailed a question about this to the screen maintainers, and Michael Schroeder (one of those good people labouring behind the scenes to make free Unix/Linux software as great as it is) told me to add the following to my ~/.screenrc:

       termcapinfo rxvt 'hs:ts=\E]2;:fs=\007:ds=\E]2;screen\007'

I don't know if this will work for other Xterm variants, but since the two lines are functionally identical except for the name of the Xterm type, perhaps ... I leave this as an exercise for the reader. It did fix my problem, although I haven't researched further to see if it interferes with the icon-titlebar naming distinction.