Install old version of screen using Mac Ports

The latest version of Screen (version 4.0.3 port revision 3) that comes with MacPorts has a number of issues.

Most annoying for me were that ‘mate’ and ‘gitx’ stopped working from the command line (with the errors ‘mate: failed to establish connection with TextMate’ and ‘gitx: failed to establish connection with GitX’ respectively).

The screen port @4.0.3_1 (version 4.0.3 revision 1) is free of these problems and, with a little bit of work, you can install this version via MacPorts. The instructions below are based on Joe Horns’ post, install old versions of ports using MacPorts.


Step 1

Set up a local port repository. In the file /opt/local/etc/macports/sources.conf, add this line before the rsync line:


and create that directory.

Step 2

Install the old revision of the port into your local repository, revision 45522 specifies screen port @4.0.3_1.

cd /Users/Shared/dports && svn co --revision 45522 \ \

Step 3

Run portindex so that ports now finds your new (old) version of Screen.

portindex /Users/Shared/dports

Step 4

Now you should be able to see two versions of the screen port by running

port list screen

However, rather unhelpfully, they will both be listed as version @4.0.3.

Step 5

Install Screen

sudo port install screen @4.0.3_1

and you should be up and running.