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 Character Symbols ␀ ␣ ¶]

Bash/Terminal Topic

  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

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