Section (1) setterm
setterm — set terminal attributes
setterm writes to standard output a character string that will invoke the specified terminal capabilities. Where possible terminfo is consulted to find the string to use. Some options however (marked virtual consoles only below) do not correspond to a terminfo(5) capability. In this case, if the terminal type is con or linux the string that invokes the specified capabilities on the PC Minix virtual console driver is output. Options that are not implemented by the terminal are ignored.
For boolean options (on or off), the default is on.
8-color can be
16-color can be an
The various color options may be set independently, at
least on virtual consoles, though the results of setting
multiple modes (for example,
−−appcursorkeys[on|off] (virtual consoles only)
Sets Cursor Key Application Mode on or off. When on, ESC O A, ESC O B, etc. will be sent for the cursor keys instead of ESC [ A, ESC [ B, etc. See the vi and Cursor-Keys section of the
Text-Terminal-HOWTOfor how this can cause problems for vi users.
−−dump, but appends to the snapshot file instead of overwriting it. Only works if no
−−dumpoptions are given.
Sets the background text color.
0-60|force|poke] (virtual consoles only)
Sets the interval of inactivity, in minutes, after which the screen will be automatically blanked (using APM if available). Without an argument, it gets the blank status (returns which vt was blanked, or zero for an unblanked vt).
The force option keeps the screen blank even if a key is pressed.
The poke option unblanks the screen.
−−bfreq[number] (virtual consoles only)
Sets the bell frequency in Hertz. Without an argument, it defaults to
0-2000] (virtual consoles only)
Sets the bell duration in milliseconds. Without an argument, it defaults to
Turns blink mode on or off. Except on a virtual console,
−−blink offturns off all attributes (bold, half-brightness, blink, reverse).
Turns bold (extra bright) mode on or off. Except on a virtual console,
−−bold offturns off all attributes (bold, half-brightness, blink, reverse).
Without an argument or with the argument all, the entire screen is cleared and the cursor is set to the home position, just like clear(1) does. With the argument rest, the screen is cleared from the current cursor position to the end.
−−clrtabs[tab1 tab2 tab3 ...] (virtual consoles only)
Clears tab stops from the given horizontal cursor positions, in the range
1-160. Without arguments, it clears all tab stops.
Turns the terminal_zsingle_quotesz_s cursor on or off.
Sets the terminal_zsingle_quotesz_s rendering options to the default values.
Writes a snapshot of the virtual console with the given number to the file specified with the
−−fileoption, overwriting its contents; the default is
screen.dump. Without an argument, it dumps the current virtual console. This overrides
Sets the snapshot file name for any
−−appendoptions on the same command line. If this option is not present, the default is
screen.dumpin the current directory. A path name that exceeds the system maximum will be truncated, see PATH_MAX from linux/limits.h for the value.
Sets the foreground text color.
Turns dim (half-brightness) mode on or off. Except on a virtual console,
−−half−bright offturns off all attributes (bold, half-brightness, blink, reverse).
Sets the color for bold characters.
Displays the terminal initialization string, which typically sets the terminal_zsingle_quotesz_s rendering options, and other attributes to the default values.
Swaps foreground and background colors for the whole screen.
Makes the terminal continue on a new line when a line is full.
−−msg [on|off] (virtual consoles only)
Enables or disables the sending of kernel
printk() messages to the console.
0-8(virtual consoles only)
Sets the console logging level for kernel
printk() messages. All messages strictly more important than this will be printed, so a logging level of
0has the same effect as
−−msg onand a logging level of
8will print all kernel messages. klogd(8) may be a more convenient interface to the logging of kernel messages.
Sets the VESA powerdown interval in minutes. Without an argument, it defaults to
0(disable powerdown). If the console is blanked or the monitor is in suspend mode, then the monitor will go into vsync suspend mode or powerdown mode respectively after this period of time has elapsed.
Turns off monitor VESA powersaving features.
Puts the monitor into VESA vsync suspend mode.
Puts the monitor into VESA powerdown mode.
Puts the monitor into VESA hsync suspend mode.
1-160] (virtual consoles only)
Clears all tab stops, then sets a regular tab stop pattern, with one tab every specified number of positions. Without an argument, it defaults to
−−repeat [on|off] (virtual consoles only)
Turns keyboard repeat on or off.
Displays the terminal reset string, which typically resets the terminal to its power-on state.
Reset terminal size by assessing maximum row and column. This is useful when actual geometry and kernel terminal driver are not in sync. Most notable use case is with serial consoles, that do not use ioctl(3) but just byte streams and breaks.
Turns reverse video mode on or off. Except on a virtual console,
−−reverse offturns off all attributes (bold, half-brightness, blink, reverse).
−−store(virtual consoles only)
Stores the terminal_zsingle_quotesz_s current rendering options (foreground and background colors) as the values to be used at reset-to-default.
−−tabs[tab1 tab2 tab3 ...]
Sets tab stops at the given horizontal cursor positions, in the range
1-160. Without arguments, it shows the current tab stop settings.
Overrides the TERM environment variable.
16-color(virtual consoles only)
Sets the color for underlined characters.
Turns underline mode on or off.
Displays version information and exits.
Displays a help text and exits.
Since version 2.25 setterm has support for
long options with two hyphens, for example
−−help, beside the historical
long options with a single hyphen, for example
−help. In scripts it is better to use
the backward-compatible single hyphen rather than the double
hyphen. Currently there are no plans nor good reasons to
discontinue single-hyphen compatibility.
The setterm command is part of the util-linux package and is available from Linux Kernel Archive
Copyright 1990 Gordon Irlam (gordonics.ua.oz.au)
Copyright 1992 Rickard E. Faith (faithcs.unc.edu)
Copyright 2000 Colin Watson (cjw44cam.ac.uk)
Do not restrict distribution.
May be distributed under the GNU General Public License