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I was curious if there is a way to clear the terminal buffer/output through some keyboard shortcut. I am using Ubuntu. I am aware that

Ctrl + L

clears the terminal, but you can still scroll back to see the old text. I am looking for something similar to what

reset 

command does. On Mac

apple + k

seems to do the trick.

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Jun 21 '11 at 2:17

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3 Answers

up vote 10 down vote accepted

In gnome terminal, you can edit the keyboard shortcuts with Edit -> Reset Shortcuts... You can then map the command "Reset and Clear", which seems to do what you're looking for.

Alternatively, you can limit the scrollback history to a small number (say 0) and Ctrl+L will be closer to what you are looking for.

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Thanks, the shortcut thing works! –  Naveen Jun 21 '11 at 1:21
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Ctrl+L redraws the terminal; it doesn't clear it. If you're in a full-screen app like less or vim, the Ctrl-L command is what you use to redraw a corrupted screen. In vim with color syntax highlighting, for example, you can use ctrl_l to update the colors if you scroll a long distance and vim gets confused by matching quotes or brackets or similar.

Just for reference if someone searches and finds this... If you need to clear the scroll-back buffer, either set your buffer to 0 lines or close the window and reopen it. Or "while true; do print; done" and then interrupt with ctrl+c when you've output enough lines to blow the buffer. The scroll buffer is application dependent, so while the given solution works for Gnome terminal, it won't work for really any other terminal device.

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  • CTRL+u clears from cursor to beginning of line

  • CTRL+k clears from cursor to end of line

  • Esc+Backspace clears the last entered word.

To clear the entire screen add the following alias to your ~/.bashrc file:

alias cls="echo -ne '\033c'"

Now, in a new terminal typing cls will clear everything including the scroll buffer. It works much faster than reset since it does not reset anything.

In fact reset is only needed when you want to fix a broken terminal, e.g. after you accidentally cat-ed a binary file.

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