[Ubuntu] Byobu: a very useful enhancement for GNU Screen

I’m now using Byobu (earlier known as screen-profiles, but changed to Byobu) everytime I ssh into one of my servers:

[local]$ ssh myserver
Last login: Thu Aug 13 11:03:58 2009 from ...
[remote]$ byobu -R


Byobu can be seen as a replacement for the “screen” command, though it is not really a replacement; It should be seen much like an addon or a plugin. It can also be used locally without ssh (I just find it useful with ssh). It shows very useful information (about the computer where screen/byobu is running) and acts just like screen, same commands (though it adds some more keybindings). See screenshot above.

Among all the features it offers (and you can add your own), there is:

  • Screen windows list
  • Battery status
  • CPU count
  • CPU frequencies
  • Current date/time
  • Disk space
  • EC2 cost
  • Fan speed
  • hostname
  • IP Address
  • Load average
  • Mail count
  • Memory available/used
  • Network transfer speeds
  • Temperatures
  • Processes running (count)
  • Users logged-in (count)
  • Wifi quality
  • Updates available

Byobu’s description on its launchpad page :

Byobu is a Japanese term for decorative, multi-panel screens that serve as folding room dividers. As an open source project, Byobu is an elegant enhancement of the otherwise functional, plain, practical GNU Screen. Byobu includes an enhanced profile and configuration utilities for the GNU screen window manager, such as toggle-able system status notifications.

It’s being developed by Dustin Kirkland (main developer) and by the byobu developers team (Dave Walker, Nick Barcet).


You can install the team’s ppa at: https://launchpad.net/~byobu/+archive/ppa by adding this to your /etc/apt/sources.list file:

deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/byobu/ppa/ubuntu YOUR_UBUNTU_VERSION_HERE main 
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/byobu/ppa/ubuntu YOUR_UBUNTU_VERSION_HERE main

And replace YOUR_UBUNTU_VERSION_HERE by either hardy, intrepid or jaunty.
Add the PPA key and update your cache:

sudo apt-key adv --recv-keys --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com F430BBA5
sudo apt-get update

And then type:

sudo apt-get install byobu byobu-extras

to install byobu and some extra stuff for byobu.

Type “byobu” to start a new byobu session, and type F9 to get to the menu.

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