Linux: Terminal Control Sequence Keys

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

Many keyboard shortcut conventions in Linux's terminal are from ancient terminal control sequences. For example:

terminal control sequences
keymeaningASCII code
Ctrl+dexit terminalASCII Code 4 “End Of Transmission” (^D).
Ctrl+hbackward deleteASCII Code 8 “Backspace” (^H).
Ctrl+lclear screenASCII Code 12 “Form Feed” (^L).
Ctrl+ccancel/interruptASCII Code 3 “End of Text” (^C).
Ctrl+zsuspendASCII Code 26 “Substitute” (^Z). [see Linux: Job Control]

[see ASCII Table]

Also, in classic terminal emulator such as xterm or Linux virtual console, pressing 【Ctrl+s】 freezes the terminal.

This is also why, in emacs, sometimes you see ^L and ^M. Those are all representation of ASCII code.

For detail, see info stty. You can type stty -a to list all control sequences. Sample output:

◆ stty -a
speed 38400 baud; rows 0; columns 0; line = 0;
intr = ^C; quit = ^\; erase = ; kill = ; eof = ^D; eol = ; eol2 = ;
swtch = ; start = ^Q; stop = ^S; susp = ^Z; rprnt = ^R; werase = ^W; lnext = ^V; flush = ^O;
min = 1; time = 0;
-parenb -parodd cs8 -hupcl -cstopb cread -clocal -crtscts
-ignbrk -brkint -ignpar -parmrk -inpck -istrip -inlcr -igncr icrnl ixon -ixoff -iuclc -ixany -imaxbel
-iutf8
opost -olcuc -ocrnl -onlcr -onocr -onlret -ofill -ofdel nl0 cr0 tab0 bs0 vt0 ff0
isig icanon iexten -echo echoe echok -echonl -noflsh -xcase -tostop -echoprt echoctl echoke

Unicode ASCII Character Symbols

[see ASCII Characters ␀ ␣ ¶]

Linux Shell Basics

  1. Get System Info
  2. Shell Basics
  3. grep, cat, awk, uniq
  4. sort
  5. find, xargs
  6. diff Files/Dir
  7. dir size: du
  8. dir tree
  9. tar gzip bzip2 xz 7zip rar zip
  10. wget, curl, GET, HEAD
  11. rsync
  12. Install Packages

Sys Admin

  1. Job Control
  2. ps
  3. top
  4. htop
  5. RAM stat
  6. Users and Groups
  7. File Permission
  8. Opened Files: lsof
  9. shutdown, sleep

Bash/Terminal

  1. Bash Keys, Terminal Keys, Man Page Keys
  2. Bash Prompt Setup
  3. Bash Color Prompt
  4. .bashrc, .profile, .bash_profile
  5. Virtual Console
  6. Terminal Control Sequence Keys
  7. Reset Terminal
  8. tmux
  9. man page
  10. Bash Manual in Chapters
  11. BASH Shell Misc Tips
  12. Log Terminal Session

Linux Desktop

  1. Most Useful GUI Apps
  2. Set Default App
  3. Shell Commands for GUI Apps
  4. Image Viewers
  5. Music Players
  6. Move File to Trash by Command
  7. X11 Selection and Clipboard
  8. How to Switch to LXDE, Xfce
  9. LXDE Keyboard Shortcuts
  10. LXDE/Openbox, Change Keyboard Shortcuts
  11. LXDE Set Key Repeat Rate
  12. LXDE/OpenBox, Disable Mouse Scroll Wheel Hide Window
  13. Xfce Keyboard Shortcuts
  14. Xfce Good Themes
  15. xmonad Keybinding
  16. How to Restart X11
  17. Why Tiling Window Manager Sucks
  18. Standard Fonts
  19. How to Install Font

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