What should we do with the and tags? Currently, there are 15 questions tagged screen and 39 questions tagged monitor.

If these tags need to be distinct, I would add the next wiki excerpts:

  • Questions about the picture as displayed on a monitor
  • Questions about hardware like laptop "screens", LCD monitors, projectors etc.

There is another confusion about screen, namely . All questions regarding the application "screen" should be tagged with that.

might be added to question in the context of watching systems (monitoring). In that case, it should be tagged .

The tag exists too which takes questions which would be a better alternative to .

Are these sensible wiki excerpts? Should the tag be renamed, like "screen-hardware" or "display"?

  • I've moved the screen ones that should be gnu-screen. Commented Apr 14, 2011 at 17:33
  • 1
    Second that. screen tag should refer to the gnu-screen. Monitor ones to anything related to the monitor, its input and output. If there is something that wants to ask about the display of the monitor maybe a display tag could be made. Commented Apr 17, 2011 at 18:56
  • @CYREX: The display tag already exists. I'm not sure if it's a good idea to refer screen to gnu-screen, questioners often put it in place of monitor.
    – Lekensteyn
    Commented Apr 17, 2011 at 19:23
  • Thanks Lekensteyn. My reason for refering screen to the gnu-screen is because we are talking about software here. Ubuntu to be more specific. So the screen command is greater than the screen relation to a monitor, lcd, etc.. So a problem related to how the monitor or display shows something would be more related to how a program in ubuntu works and not what problem the hardware has. This is my logic into this. Commented Apr 17, 2011 at 19:52
  • @CYREX: Okay then, so we should make screen a synonym to gnu-screen (with screen redirecting to screen) and monitor -> display ?
    – Lekensteyn
    Commented Apr 17, 2011 at 20:06
  • Just giving my thought about it. Am guessing the final decision falls into the people in charge of askubuntu but yes, screen would be a synonym of gnu-screen and monitor to display as in "what the user sees or uses to see" Commented Apr 17, 2011 at 20:24

3 Answers 3


I don't think they need to be different. X doesn't care if it's a physical monitor or a projector, perhaps just pile them all under screen?


I don't see any reason to distinguish between “monitor” and “screen” the way you describe. In fact, I wonder where you got this distinction; I've always seen the terms used interchangeably, except inasmuch “screen” is sometimes the part of the monitor that displays the picture (inside the frame). If you want a neutral term, you could use “display” — but for a tag name, you really want to capture common terms, even if they aren't “proper”.

On the Unix site, we use screen for the application and monitor for the hardware device. On Super User, gnu-screen is for the application and screen and monitor seem to be used interchangeably (excepts that screen inevitably attracts questions about the application).

For what it's worth, outside Stack Exchange, I'm not used to seeing Screen referred to as GNU Screen, so until I saw it on Super User it wouldn't have crossed my mind that a question about Screen should be tagged gnu-screen and not screen. Of course, I do realize that many people wouldn't know about Screen and would naturally post monitor questions with the screen tag. (But they ask monitoring questions with monitor too.)

  • That covers most of what I'm thinking about. screen and monitor should be synonyms, a warning about gnu-screen should be placed in the excerpt and other questions regarding hardware should be tagged display.
    – Lekensteyn
    Commented Apr 15, 2011 at 7:47
  • I think of screen as singular and synonymous with monitor (hardware). display puts me in mind of the entire view regardless of number of screens/monitors. It doesn't bring hardware to my mind like the other 2 do.
    – Elder Geek
    Commented Nov 11, 2014 at 15:34
  • Interestingly enough X11 and xorg.conf distinguish between Screen and Monitor and there are separate config sections, where Screen takes Monitor as parameter. From what I understand, in such context Screen is the software "canvas", while monitor is the actual physical device. Of course, the terminology discussed here as related to GNU screen is different, but perhaps it is worth mentioning. Commented Apr 16, 2019 at 3:53

When they post a message on Askubuntu, some users don't really know the difference between screen and monitor... So I think that:

  • those two tags should be merged...
  • or a message should appear when a user try to add a tag at her post (javascript, ajax ?)

I didn't knew the difference between these two words before having read your message ;P

  • A tag can be made a synonym of another, in which case the tag will be converted automatically to the other one.
    – Lekensteyn
    Commented Apr 25, 2011 at 14:21

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