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?

up vote 12 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.

  • 4
    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
  • This doesn't work for me on MacOSX (10.11.6) / iTerm2 (3.0.12) / bash (4.1.2) – Ed Randall Feb 8 '17 at 13:45

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

  • Super simple solution that fixed my crashed tmux oh-my-zsh pane. – Shadoninja May 10 '16 at 23:14

You can try the ANSI reset command:

printf "\033c"
  • this is the only one that worked on OpenBSD 5.4 – execNext Oct 1 '14 at 1:55
  • 1
    This also worked from the shell (bash) as echo -e '\033c' – Ed Randall Feb 8 '17 at 13:43
  • 2
    @EdRandall Yes. Note that "echo -e" is not supported by all shells while printf has the advantage of being portable so works whatever the shell, including bash. – jlliagre Feb 8 '17 at 14:53
  • I imagine that this has nothing to do with the seagull diacritic in IPA? U+033C ‹◌̼› \N{COMBINING SEAGULL BELOW} – TRiG Jul 3 '17 at 14:14
  • @TRiG Indeed. Nothing to do either with the famous Eric Cantona's quote. ;-) – jlliagre Jul 3 '17 at 14:34

My terminal didnt display any characters I typed. None of the other tricks worked. This one works:

stty sane

Worked for me. I sometimes have a terminal in an unresponsive state, but none of the other suggestions could give me the output back again. The other suggestions I tried, but didn't work:

echo ^v^o
printf "\033c"


There are actually a few potential problems, and it might have to do with your environment. First off, as @Jesper answered, you want to do stty sane. However, you might not even be able to set up the environment correctly with that.

This is due to the difference between /bin/bash and /bin/sh. Upon opening your tty, run /bin/bash and then try stty sane. This should fix everything. Finally, I recommend adding such a thing to .bashrc

Another option would be to install a sane tty software.

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