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When I was your age, television was called books

8 July 2008 21:50

There are few programs I use with so much combined love & loathing than GNU screen.

Yesterday I spent a while adding another feature I've been wanting for so long, the unbindall primitive.

In many cases I find myself using screen as a wrapper around other things. But usually I end up having to disable dangerous keybindings, to gain security or to protect users from themselves.

Typically this leads to a screenrc file looking like this:

#  Disable these bindings.
bind :
bind s
bind S
bind Z
bind ^\
bind c
bind ^c
bind z
bind Z
bind B

Instead it would be better if I could just say:

#  Unbind *all* keystrokes

#  Restore actions we need/want/love.
bind x quit
bind d detach
bind c screen

Anyway, thanks to a small patch I can now.

ObQuote: The Princess Bride



Comments on this entry

icon Daniel Kahn Gillmor at 19:12 on 8 July 2008
This is a Good Thing, Steve. Will you be submitting this patch upstream (or to debian at least)?
Aside from being generally useful, I'd like to be able to count on this feature for cereal
icon Steve at 19:30 on 8 July 2008

I'll include the patch here for posterity - I hadn't planned on submitting to Debian because they mostly only take patches that upstream do.

Upstream development on screen is glacial, so there's probably not a lot of point ...

--- screen-4.0.3.orig/comm.h.dist
+++ screen-4.0.3/comm.h.dist
@@ -225,4 +225,4 @@
 #define RC_ZOMBIE 174
-#define RC_LAST 174
+#define RC_UNBIND 175
+#define RC_LAST 175

--- screen-4.0.3.orig/process.c
+++ screen-4.0.3/process.c
@@ -1297,2 +1297,15 @@
+    case RC_UNBINDALL:
+      {
+        register unsigned int i;
+        for (i = 0; i < sizeof(ktab)/sizeof(*ktab); i++)
+          {
+            ktab[i].nr = RC_ILLEGAL;
+            ktab[i].args = noargs;
+            ktab[i].argl = 0;
+          }
+       Msg(0, "unbound all keys" );
+        break;
+      }
     case RC_ZOMBIE:
only in patch2:

--- screen-4.0.3.orig/comm.c
+++ screen-4.0.3/comm.c
@@ -302,2 +302,3 @@
   { "umask",           ARGS_1|ARGS_ORMORE },
+  { "unbindall",       ARGS_0 },
   { "unsetenv",                ARGS_1 },

icon Jamie Rollins at 23:24 on 8 July 2008
Steve, this is a great idea. I really think we should push for this to be added in Debian at least, if not upstream. Your use of screen as a wrapper really inspired us and we now use it in much the same way, and having to unbind everything is a real pain. We unbound a lot, but did we get everything?
We should file this as a wishlist to Debian.
icon Steve Kemp at 23:29 on 8 July 2008

Jamie, please do feel free to point people at the patch / file a bug.