GNU Screen: how to bind Alt + Left Arrow & Alt + Right Arrow to prev/next

for a simple way to switch between GNU Screen ‘screens’ using Alt + Arrow key, use the below key bindings in your .screenrc file

# Arrow keys to switch terminals (only works with X) 
# Alt + left 
bindkey ^[[1;3D prev 
# Alt + right 
bindkey ^[[1;3C next 


  • don’t use Ctrl + Alt + Left/Rigth Arrow as its used by GNOME to swap virtual desktops
  • nor firefox style as its used by GNOME Terminal for switching its tabs
  • to find out what Alt/Fn/Ctrl characters equal what just execute cat and start typing

Justin Kelly

Justin Kelly

Data Engineeer, Business Analytics, Web Developer, Library Technology specialising in PHP and Tableau

Based in Melbourne, Australia

Feel free to contact me or _justin_kelly