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dtach(1)                             General Commands Manual                             dtach(1)

       dtach - simple program that emulates the detach feature of screen.

       dtach -a <socket> <options>
       dtach -A <socket> <options> <command...>
       dtach -c <socket> <options> <command...>
       dtach -n <socket> <options> <command...>

       dtach is a program that emulates the detach feature of screen. It is designed to be trans‐
       parent and un-intrusive; it avoids interpreting the input and output between attached ter‐
       minals  and  the  program  under its control. Consequently, it works best with full-screen
       applications such as emacs.

       dtach is intended for users who want the detach feature of screen without the other  over‐
       head  of screen. It is tiny, does not use many libraries, and stays out of the way as much
       as possible.

       A session in dtach is a single instance in which a program is running under the control of
       dtach.   The  program  is  disassociated from the original terminal, and is thus protected
       from your original terminal being disconnected for some reason.

       Other instances of dtach can attach themselves to a particular session. Input  and  output
       is copied between the program running in the dtach session, and the attached terminals.

       dtach  avoids  interpreting  the communication stream between the program and the attached
       terminals; it instead relies on the ability  of  the  attached  terminals  to  manage  the

       Sessions  are  represented  by  Unix-domain sockets in the filesystem. No other permission
       checking other than the filesystem access checks is performed.   dtach  creates  a  master
       process that monitors the session socket, the program, and any attached terminals.

       dtach  has  several  modes of operation. It can create a new session in which a program is
       executed, or it can attach to an existing session. The first argument specifies which mode
       dtach should operate in.

       -a     Attach  to  an existing session.  dtach attaches itself to the session specified by
              <socket>.  After the attach is completed, the window size of the  current  terminal
              is sent to the master process, and a redraw is also requested.

       -A     Attach to an existing session, or create a new one.  dtach first tries to attach to
              the session specified by <socket> if possible. If the attempt to  open  the  socket
              fails, dtach tries to create a new session before attaching to it.

       -c     Creates  a  new session. A new session is created in which the specified program is
              executed.  dtach then tries to attach itself to the newly created session.

       -n     Creates a new session, without attaching to it. A new session is created  in  which
              the  specified program is executed.  dtach does not try to attach to the newly cre‐
              ated session, however, and exits instead.

       dtach has a few options that allow you to modify its behavior. Each attaching process  can
       have separate settings for these options, which allows for some flexibility.

       -e <char>
              Sets  the  detach character to <char>.  When the detach character is pressed, dtach
              detaches itself from the current session and exits. The process running in the ses‐
              sion  is  unaffected  by  the detach. By default, the detach character is set to ^\

       -E     Disables the detach character.  dtach does not try to scan input from the  terminal
              for  a detach character. The only way to detach from the session is then by sending
              the attaching process an appropriate signal.

       -r <method>
              Sets the redraw method to <method>.  The valid methods are none, ctrl_l, or winch.

              none disables redrawing completely, ctrl_l sends a Ctrl L character to the  program
              if  the  terminal  is  in  character-at-a-time and no-echo mode, and winch forces a
              WINCH signal to be sent to the program.

              When creating a new session, the specified method is used  as  the  default  redraw
              method for the session. If not specified, the ctrl_l method is used.

       -z     Disables  processing  of the suspend key.  Normally, dtach will suspend itself when
              the suspend key is pressed. With this option, the suspend character is sent to  the
              session instead of being handled by dtach.

       The following example creates a new session that has the detach character and suspend pro‐
       cessing disabled. A socket is created in the /tmp directory for the session.

          $ dtach -c /tmp/foozle -Ez bash

       The following example attaches to the /tmp/foozle session if it exists, and if  not,  cre‐
       ates  a  new  session  using /tmp/foozle as the socket for the session.  Processing of the
       suspend character is also disabled for the attach instance.

          $ dtach -A /tmp/foozle -z bash

       The following example attaches to the /tmp/foozle session, using the winch  redraw  method
       to redraw the screen.

          $ dtach -a /tmp/foozle -r winch

       The  following  example  creates  a new session and sets the default redraw method for the
       session to the winch redraw method.

          $ dtach -c /tmp/foozle -r winch bash

       Ned T. Crigler <crigler AT users.net>.


dtach 0.8                                    Jan 2008                                    dtach(1)

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