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My Slackware TTY can be broken easily by running:

cat some_binary_file

After the command, the entire TTY will no longer display readable characters but still responds to keyboard events.

Even if I logout and login again, the TTY is still broken and does not show readable characters anymore. I must restart the machine to restore normal TTY operation.

Is there a solution without restarting entire machine?

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

Run echo ^v^o, that is echo and then Ctrl-v and then Ctrl-o, Enter. You will not see the Ctrl-v. It will display as echo ^O. Ctrl-v sets it into verbose mode, passing through control characters, and the Ctrl-o will reset the terminal.

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Just a short hint: If the TTY is completely unusable or a logging console you can reset it easily from any other TTY with echo ^v^o > /dev/ttyN where N is the number of the terminal. – Torben Feb 24 '14 at 11:52

Usually, running reset resets the terminal. Some key bindings from .inputrc might be lost, though.

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thank you, this also works – Howard Sep 3 '13 at 22:57
Super simple solution that fixed my crashed tmux oh-my-zsh pane. – Shadoninja May 10 at 23:14

You can try the ANSI reset command:

printf "\033c"
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thank you, this also works – Howard Sep 3 '13 at 22:56
this is the only one that worked on OpenBSD 5.4 – execNext Oct 1 '14 at 1:55

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