Terminal codes (ANSI/VT100) introduction

Terminal (control) codes are used to issue specific commands to your terminal. This can be related to switching colors or positioning the cursor, i.e. anything that can't be done by the application itself.

A terminal control code is a special sequence of characters that is printed (like any other text). If the terminal understands the code, it won't display the character-sequence, but will perform some action. You can print the codes with a simple echo command.

Note: I see codes referenced as "Bash colors" sometimes (several "Bash tutorials" etc…): That's a completely incorrect definition.

Because there's a large number of different terminal control languages, usually a system has an intermediate communication layer. The real codes are looked up in a database for the currently detected terminal type and you give standardized requests to an API or (from the shell) to a command.

One of these commands is tput. Tput accepts a set of acronyms called capability names and any parameters, if appropriate, then looks up the correct escape sequences for the detected terminal in the terminfo database and prints the correct codes (the terminal hopefully understands).

In this list I'll focus on ANSI/VT100 control codes for the most common actions - take it as quick reference. The documentation of your terminal or the terminfo database is always the preferred source when something is unclear! Also the tput acronyms are usually the ones dedicated for ANSI escapes!

I listed only the most relevant codes, of course, any ANSI terminal understands many more! But let's keep the discussion centered on common shell scripting ;-)

If I couldn't find a matching ANSI escape, you'll see a :?: as the code. Feel free to mail me or fix it.

The ANSI codes always start with the ESC character. (ASCII 0x1B or octal 033) This isn't part of the list, but you should avoid using the ANSI codes directly - use the tput command!

All codes that can be used with tput can be found in terminfo(5). (on OpenBSD at least) See OpenBSD's terminfo(5) under the Capabilities section. The cap-name is the code to use with tput. A description of each code is also provided.

The Ctrl-Key representation is simply associating the non-printable characters from ASCII code 1 with the printable (letter) characters from ASCII code 65 ("A"). ASCII code 1 would be ^A (Ctrl-A), while ASCII code 7 (BEL) would be ^G (Ctrl-G). This is a common representation (and input method) and historically comes from one of the VT series of terminals.

BEL70070x07\a^GTerminal bell
HT90110x09\t^IHorizontal TAB
LF100120x0A\n^JLinefeed (newline)
VT110130x0B\v^KVertical TAB
FF120140x0C\f^LFormfeed (also: New page NP)
CR130150x0D\r^MCarriage return
ESC270330x1B<none>^[Escape character
DEL1271770x7F<none><none>Delete character
ANSIterminfo equivalentDescription
[ <X> ; <Y> H
[ <X> ; <Y> f
cup <X> <Y>Home-positioning to X and Y coordinates
:!: it seems that ANSI uses 1-1 as home while tput uses 0-0
[ HhomeMove cursor to home position (0-0)
7scSave current cursor position
8rcRestore saved cursor position
:?: most likely a normal code like \bcub1move left one space (backspace)
VT100 [ ? 25 lcivismake cursor invisible
VT100 [ ? 25 hcvvismake cursor visible
ANSI terminfo equivalent Description
[ K
[ 0 K
el Clear line from current cursor position to end of line
[ 1 K el1 Clear line from beginning to current cursor position
[ 2 K el2:?: Clear whole line (cursor position unchanged)
ANSIterminfo equivalentDescription
[ 0 msgr0Reset all attributes
[ 1 mboldSet "bright" attribute
[ 2 mdimSet "dim" attribute
[ 3 msmsoSet "standout" attribute
[ 4 mset smul unset rmul :?:Set "underscore" (underlined text) attribute
[ 5 mblinkSet "blink" attribute
[ 7 mrevSet "reverse" attribute
[ 8 minvisSet "hidden" attribute
ANSI terminfo equivalent Description
[ 3 0 m setaf 0 Set foreground to color #0 - black
[ 3 1 m setaf 1 Set foreground to color #1 - red
[ 3 2 m setaf 2 Set foreground to color #2 - green
[ 3 3 m setaf 3 Set foreground to color #3 - yellow
[ 3 4 m setaf 4 Set foreground to color #4 - blue
[ 3 5 m setaf 5 Set foreground to color #5 - magenta
[ 3 6 m setaf 6 Set foreground to color #6 - cyan
[ 3 7 m setaf 7 Set foreground to color #7 - white
[ 3 9 m setaf 9 Set default color as foreground color
ANSI terminfo equivalent Description
[ 4 0 m setab 0 Set background to color #0 - black
[ 4 1 m setab 1 Set background to color #1 - red
[ 4 2 m setab 2 Set background to color #2 - green
[ 4 3 m setab 3 Set background to color #3 - yellow
[ 4 4 m setab 4 Set background to color #4 - blue
[ 4 5 m setab 5 Set background to color #5 - magenta
[ 4 6 m setab 6 Set background to color #6 - cyan
[ 4 7 m setab 7 Set background to color #7 - white
[ 4 9 m setab 9 Set default color as background color

Save/restore screen

Used capabilities: smcup, rmcup

You've undoubtedly already encountered programs that restore the terminal contents after they do their work (like vim). This can be done by the following commands:

# save, clear screen
tput smcup

# example "application" follows...
read -n1 -p "Press any key to continue..."
# example "application" ends here

# restore
tput rmcup

These features require that certain capabilities exist in your termcap/terminfo. While xterm and most of its clones (rxvt, urxvt, etc) will support the instructions, your operating system may not include references to them in its default xterm profile. (FreeBSD, in particular, falls into this category.) If `tput smcup` appears to do nothing for you, and you don't want to modify your system termcap/terminfo data, and you KNOW that you are using a compatible xterm application, the following may work for you:

echo -e '\033[?47h' # save screen
echo -e '\033[?47l' # restore screen

Certain software uses these codes (via their termcap capabilities) as well. You may have seen the screen save/restore in less, vim, top, screen and others. Some of these applications may also provide configuration options to *disable* this behaviour. For example, less has a -X option for this, which can also be set in an environment variable:

export LESS=X
less /path/to/file

Similarly, vim can be configured not to "restore" the screen by adding the following to your ~/.vimrc:

set t_ti= t_te=

Additional colors

Some terminal emulators support additional colors. The most common extension used by xterm-compatible terminals supports 256 colors. These can be generated by tput with seta{f,b} [0-255] when the TERM value has a -256color suffix. Some terminals also support full 24-bit colors, and any X11 color code can be written directly into a special escape sequence. (More infos) Only a few programs make use of anything beyond 256 colors, and tput doesn't know about them. Colors beyond 16 usually only apply to modern terminal emulators running in graphical environments.

The Virtual Terminal implemented in the Linux kernel supports only 16 colors, and the usual default terminfo entry for TERM=linux defines only 8. There is sometimes an alternate "linux-16color" that you can switch to, to get the other 8 colors.

printf '%b\n' 'It is \033[31mnot\033[39m intelligent to use \033[32mhardcoded ANSI\033[39m codes!'

Directly inside the echo:

echo "TPUT is a $(tput setaf 2)nice$(tput setaf 9) and $(tput setaf 5)user friendly$(tput setaf 9) terminal capability database."

With preset variables:

COL_NORM="$(tput setaf 9)"
COL_RED="$(tput setaf 1)"
COL_GREEN="$(tput setaf 2)"
echo "It's ${COL_RED}red${COL_NORM} and ${COL_GREEN}green${COL_NORM} - have you seen?"

HOME function

home() {
  # yes, actually not much shorter ;-)
  tput home


DATA[0]="     _/  _/    _/                            _/    "
DATA[1]="  _/_/_/_/_/  _/_/_/      _/_/_/    _/_/_/  _/_/_/ "
DATA[2]="   _/  _/    _/    _/  _/    _/  _/_/      _/    _/"
DATA[3]="_/_/_/_/_/  _/    _/  _/    _/      _/_/  _/    _/ "
DATA[4]=" _/  _/    _/_/_/      _/_/_/  _/_/_/    _/    _/  "

# virtual coordinate system is X*Y ${#DATA} * 5


draw_char() {

  tput cup $((REAL_OFFSET_Y + V_COORD_Y)) $((REAL_OFFSET_X + V_COORD_X))

  printf %c ${DATA[V_COORD_Y]:V_COORD_X:1}

trap 'exit 1' INT TERM
trap 'tput setaf 9; tput cvvis; clear' EXIT

tput civis

while :; do

for ((c=1; c <= 7; c++)); do
  tput setaf $c
  for ((x=0; x<${#DATA[0]}; x++)); do
    for ((y=0; y<=4; y++)); do
      draw_char $x $y


This is a slightly modified version of Charles Cooke's colorful Mandelbrot plot scripts ( original w/ screenshot) – ungolfed, optimized a bit, and without hard-coded terminal escapes. The colorBox function is memoized to collect tput output only when required and output a new escape only when a color change is needed. This limits the number of tput calls to at most 16, and reduces raw output by more than half. The doBash function uses integer arithmetic, but is still ksh93-compatible (run as e.g. bash ./mandelbrot to use it). The ksh93-only floating-point doKsh is almost 10x faster than doBash (thus the ksh shebang by default), but uses only features that don't make the Bash parser crash.

#!/usr/bin/env ksh

# Charles Cooke's 16-color Mandelbrot
# http://earth.gkhs.net/ccooke/shell.html
# Combined Bash/ksh93 flavors by Dan Douglas (ormaaj)

function doBash {
	typeset P Q X Y a b c i v x y 
	for ((P=10**8,Q=P/100,X=320*Q/cols,Y=210*Q/lines,y=-105*Q,v=-220*Q,x=v;y<105*Q;x=v,y+=Y)); do
		for ((;x<P;a=b=i=c=0,x+=X)); do
			for ((;a**2+b**2<4*P**2&&i++<99;a=((c=a)**2-b**2)/P+x,b=2*c*b/P+y)); do :
			colorBox $((i<99?i%16:0))

function doKsh {
	integer i
	float a b c x=2.2 y=-1.05 X=3.2/cols Y=2.1/lines 
		for ((a=b=i=0;(c=a)**2+b**2<=2&&i++<99&&(a=a**2-b**2+x,b=2*c*b+y);)); do :
		. colorBox $((i<99?i%16:0))
		if ((x<1?!(x+=X):(y+=Y,x=-2.2))); then
		do :

function colorBox {
	(($1==lastclr)) || printf %s "${colrs[lastclr=$1]:=$(tput setaf "$1")}"
	printf '\u2588'

unset -v lastclr
((cols=$(tput cols)-1, lines=$(tput lines)))
typeset -a colrs
trap 'tput sgr0; echo' EXIT

A much more sophisticated version by Roland Mainz can be found here

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Lucas H, 2011/07/28 04:37

RE: your "Note: I found no code to entirely erase the current line ("delete line" is something else!). It might be a combination of positioning the cursor and erase to the end of line."

Try this: [ 2 K el2 Clear whole line

James, 2011/08/31 22:12

In the table showing

[ 3 9 m setaf 9 Set default foreground color

the Description "Set default foreground color" is ambiguous.

That phrase could mean either that the commands will 1) store the value of a specified color as the "default" color value, or that 2) a stored "default" color value will be used to re-set the current foreground or background color to a new value. Which is it? In one case there can be a visible change on the screen. In the other case, the will never be a visible change on the screen.

As it is, some people will create termcap files which gratuitously reset the display to the "default" colors, which makes using custom foreground and background colors impossible. Of course, this is just mean, and requires rewriting the termcap file.

Also, the Descriptions of the "Dim", "Bright", and "Reverse" attributes could actually say what these are suppose to do. For instance, what is suppose to happen when setting both "Dim" and "Bright"? Or, does "Reverse" apply to both the foreground and background colors? Does "Reverse" mean to exchange the foreground and background colors? Or to set some kind of "complement" color to each of the foreground and background?

These "Descriptions" that do not describe are not useful.


Constantine, 2011/09/21 12:43

# print shortcuts for all ansi codes, NB: please add plus plus in for statements!

      for a in 0 1 4 5 7; do
              echo "a=$a " 
              for (( f=0; f<=9; f++ )) ; do
                      for (( b=0; b<=9; b++ )) ; do
                              #echo -ne "f=$f b=$b" 
                              echo -ne "\\033[${a};3${f};4${b}m"
                              echo -ne "\\\\\\\\033[${a};3${f};4${b}m"
                              echo -ne "\\033[0m "
Aubrey Bourke, 2011/12/19 01:38


Very cool tutorial. I recently purchased a beagleboard XM, so this site is a perfect place to start serial port programming.

And the "silly but nice effects" is awesome. I love it!

Here's a link to a "cool splash screen for my website". Its just a Java animation... (open with Java web start - jws)


Best Regards.

Jan Schampera, 2011/12/21 11:35, 2011/12/21 11:36


thank you :-)

I don't think this link will work for anybody except you (file:) :-)

Bill Gradwohl, 2012/04/07 23:57

This describes things from the display end. What about the keyboard? How does someone read the codes from the keyboard and figure out that the user pressed the up arrow key, for example?

I'm interested in this for using the bash read -s -n 1 mechanism to bring in keystrokes 1 character at a time and then try to figure out what key the user pressed. Up arrow for example is \E[A . I want to get the entire list of possible character combinations that are legitimate for a given environment.

The infocmp utility can dump the terminfo for a particular entity (xterm, linux, etc) but I can't find the equivalent for a keybaord.

Jan Schampera, 2012/04/21 10:45

A very good question. Sorry, I can't answer it. I think there are no such things as "standardized" key codes.

Ruthard Baudach, 2013/04/03 19:35, 2014/10/06 04:25

well, just use read!

read does not only read the input from the keyboard, but reflects it on the terminal – resulting in the keycodes you are looking for.

I used my findings for the following python script: (sorry for not using bash)

#!/usr/bin/env python

import sys,termios, time

## Font attributes ##
# off
off = '\x1b[0m' # off
default = '\x1b[39m' # default foreground
DEFAULT = '\x1b[49m' # default background
bd = '\x1b[1m' # bold
ft = '\x1b[2m' # faint
st = '\x1b[3m' # standout
ul = '\x1b[4m' # underlined
bk = '\x1b[5m' # blink
rv = '\x1b[7m' # reverse
hd = '\x1b[8m' # hidden
nost = '\x1b[23m' # no standout
noul = '\x1b[24m' # no underlined
nobk = '\x1b[25m' # no blink
norv = '\x1b[27m' # no reverse
# colors
black = '\x1b[30m'
BLACK = '\x1b[40m'
red = '\x1b[31m'
RED = '\x1b[41m'
green = '\x1b[32m'
GREEN = '\x1b[42m'
yellow = '\x1b[33m'
YELLOW = '\x1b[43m'
blue = '\x1b[34m'
BLUE = '\x1b[44m'
magenta = '\x1b[35m'
MAGENTA = '\x1b[45m'
cyan = '\x1b[36m'
CYAN = '\x1b[46m'
white = '\x1b[37m'
WHITE = '\x1b[47m'
# light colors
dgray = '\x1b[90m'
DGRAY = '\x1b[100m'
lred = '\x1b[91m'
LRED = '\x1b[101m'
lgreen = '\x1b[92m'
LGREEN = '\x1b[102m'
lyellow = '\x1b[93m'
LYELLOW = '\x1b[103m'
lblue = '\x1b[94m'
LBLUE = '\x1b[104m'
lmagenta = '\x1b[95m'
LMAGENTA = '\x1b[105m'
lcyan = '\x1b[96m'
LCYAN = '\x1b[106m'
lgray = '\x1b[97m'
LGRAY = '\x1b[107m'

## 256 colors ##
# \x1b[38;5;#m foreground, # = 0 - 255
# \x1b[48;5;#m background, # = 0 - 255
## True Color ##
# \x1b[38;2;r;g;bm r = red, g = green, b = blue foreground
# \x1b[48;2;r;g;bm r = red, g = green, b = blue background

# ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
# prepare terminal settings
fd = sys.stdin.fileno()
old_settings = termios.tcgetattr(fd)
new_settings = termios.tcgetattr(fd)
new_settings[3] &= ~termios.ICANON
new_settings[3] &= ~termios.ECHO

# ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
def clear(what='screen'):
        erase functions:
                what: screen => erase screen and go home
                      line   => erase line and go to start of line
                      bos    => erase to begin of screen
                      eos    => erase to end of screen
                      bol    => erase to begin of line
                      eol    => erase to end of line
        clear = {
                'screen': '\x1b[2J\x1b[H',
                'line': '\x1b[2K\x1b[G',
                'bos': '\x1b[1J',
                'eos': '\x1b[J',
                'bol': '\x1b[1K',
                'eol': '\x1b[K',

# ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
def move(pos):
        move cursor to pos
        pos = tuple (x,y)
        x,y = pos

# ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
def put(*args):
        put text on on screen
        a tuple as first argument tells absolute position for the text
       does not change cursor position
        args = list of optional position, formatting tokens and strings
        args = list(args)
        if type(args[0]) == type(()):
                x,y = args[0]
                del args[0]

# ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
def write(*args):
        writes text on on screen
        a tuple as first argument gives the relative position to current cursor position
        does change cursor position
        args = list of optional position, formatting tokens and strings
        args = list(args)
        if type(args[0]) == type(()):
                pos = []
                x,y = args[0]
                if x > 0:
                elif x < 0:
                if y > 0:
                elif y < 0:
                del args[0]
                args = pos + args

# ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
def getch():
        Get character.
        # get character
                ch = sys.stdin.read(1)
                termios.tcsetattr(fd, termios.TCSADRAIN, old_settings)
        # return
        return ch

# ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

if __name__ == '__main__':
        esc_mode = False
        esc_string = ''
        esc_codes = {
                '[A': 'Up',
                '[B': 'Down',
                '[C': 'Right',
                '[D': 'Left',
                '[F': 'End',
                '[H': 'Pos1',
                '[2~': 'Ins',
                '[3~': 'Del',
                '[5~': 'PgUp',
                '[6~': 'PdDown',
                'OP': 'F1',
                'OQ': 'F2',
                'OR': 'F3',
                'OS': 'F4',
                '[15~': 'F5',
                '[17~': 'F6',
                '[18~': 'F7',
                '[19~': 'F8',
                '[20~': 'F9',
                '[21~': 'F10',
                '[23~': 'F11',
                '[24~': 'F12',
                '[29~': 'Apps',
                '[34~': 'Win',
                '[1;2A': 'S-Up',
                '[1;2B': 'S-Down',
                '[1;2C': 'S-Right',
                '[1;2D': 'S-Left',
                '[1;2F': 'S-End',
                '[1;2H': 'S-Pos1',
                '[2;2~': 'S-Ins',
                '[3;2~': 'S-Del',
                '[5;2~': 'S-PgUp',
                '[6;2~': 'S-PdDown',
                '[1;2P': 'S-F1',
                '[1;2Q': 'S-F2',
                '[1;2R': 'S-F3',
                '[1;2S': 'S-F4',
                '[15;2~': 'S-F5',
                '[17;2~': 'S-F6',
                '[18;2~': 'S-F7',
                '[19;2~': 'S-F8',
                '[20;2~': 'S-F9',
                '[21;2~': 'S-F10',
                '[23;2~': 'S-F11',
                '[24;2~': 'S-F12',
                '[29;2~': 'S-Apps',
                '[34;2~': 'S-Win',
                '[1;3A': 'M-Up',
                                  '[1;3B': 'M-Down',
                '[1;3C': 'M-Right',
                '[1;3D': 'M-Left',
                '[1;3F': 'M-End',
                '[1;3H': 'M-Pos1',
                '[2;3~': 'M-Ins',
                '[3;3~': 'M-Del',
                '[5;3~': 'M-PgUp',
                '[6;3~': 'M-PdDown',
                '[1;3P': 'M-F1',
                '[1;3Q': 'M-F2',
                '[1;3R': 'M-F3',
                '[1;3S': 'M-F4',
                '[15;3~': 'M-F5',
                '[17;3~': 'M-F6',
                '[18;3~': 'M-F7',
                '[19;3~': 'M-F8',
                '[20;3~': 'M-F9',
                '[21;3~': 'M-F10',
                '[23;3~': 'M-F11',
                '[24;3~': 'M-F12',
                '[29;3~': 'M-Apps',
                '[34;3~': 'M-Win',
                '[1;5A': 'C-Up',
                '[1;5B': 'C-Down',
                '[1;5C': 'C-Right',
                '[1;5D': 'C-Left',
                '[1;5F': 'C-End',
                '[1;5H': 'C-Pos1',
                '[2;5~': 'C-Ins',
                '[3;5~': 'C-Del',
                '[5;5~': 'C-PgUp',
                '[6;5~': 'C-PdDown',
                '[1;5P': 'C-F1',
                '[1;5Q': 'C-F2',
                '[1;5R': 'C-F3',
                '[1;5S': 'C-F4',
                '[15;5~': 'C-F5',
                '[17;5~': 'C-F6',
                '[18;5~': 'C-F7',
                '[19;5~': 'C-F8',
                '[20;5~': 'C-F9',
                '[21;5~': 'C-F10',
                '[23;5~': 'C-F11',
                '[24;5~': 'C-F12',
                '[29;5~': 'C-Apps',
                '[34;5~': 'C-Win',
                '[1;6A': 'S-C-Up',
                '[1;6B': 'S-C-Down',
                '[1;6C': 'S-C-Right',
                '[1;6D': 'S-C-Left',
                '[1;6F': 'S-C-End',
                '[1;6H': 'S-C-Pos1',
                '[2;6~': 'S-C-Ins',
                           '[3;6~': 'S-C-Del',
                '[5;6~': 'S-C-PgUp',
                '[6;6~': 'S-C-PdDown',
                '[1;6P': 'S-C-F1',
                '[1;6Q': 'S-C-F2',
                '[1;6R': 'S-C-F3',
                '[1;6S': 'S-C-F4',
                '[15;6~': 'S-C-F5',
                '[17;6~': 'S-C-F6',
                '[18;6~': 'S-C-F7',
                '[19;6~': 'S-C-F8',
                '[20;6~': 'S-C-F9',
                '[21;6~': 'S-C-F10',
                '[23;6~': 'S-C-F11',
                '[24;6~': 'S-C-F12',
                '[29;6~': 'S-C-Apps',
                '[34;6~': 'S-C-Win',
                '[1;7A': 'C-M-Up',
                '[1;7B': 'C-M-Down',
                '[1;7C': 'C-M-Right',
                '[1;7D': 'C-M-Left',
                '[1;7F': 'C-M-End',
                '[1;7H': 'C-M-Pos1',
                '[2;7~': 'C-M-Ins',
                '[3;7~': 'C-M-Del',
                '[5;7~': 'C-M-PgUp',
                '[6;7~': 'C-M-PdDown',
                '[1;7P': 'C-M-F1',
                '[1;7Q': 'C-M-F2',
                '[1;7R': 'C-M-F3',
                '[1;7S': 'C-M-F4',
                '[15;7~': 'C-M-F5',
                '[17;7~': 'C-M-F6',
                '[18;7~': 'C-M-F7',
                '[19;7~': 'C-M-F8',
                '[20;7~': 'C-M-F9',
                '[21;7~': 'C-M-F10',
                '[23;7~': 'C-M-F11',
                '[24;7~': 'C-M-F12',
                '[29;7~': 'C-M-Apps',
                '[34;7~': 'C-M-Win',
                # 8 wäre S-C-M

        ctrl_codes = {
                0: 'C-2',
                1: 'C-A',
                2: 'C-B',
                3: 'C-C',
                4: 'C-D',
                5: 'C-E',
                6: 'C-F',
                7: 'C-G',
                8: 'C-H',
                       9: 'C-I',
                10: 'C-J',
                11: 'C-K',
                12: 'C-L',
                13: 'C-M',
                14: 'C-N',
                15: 'C-O',
                16: 'C-P',
                17: 'C-Q',
                18: 'C-R',
                19: 'C-S',
                20: 'C-T',
                21: 'C-U',
                22: 'C-V',
                23: 'C-W',
                24: 'C-X',
                25: 'C-Y',
                26: 'C-Z',
                27: 'C-3',
                29: 'C-5',
                30: 'C-6',
                31: 'C-7',

        while True:
                ch = getch()
                if esc_mode:
                        esc_string += ch
                        # esc string terminators
                        if ch in ['A','B','C','D','F','H','P','Q','R','S','~']:
                                esc_mode = False
                                esc_string = ''
                        elif ch == '\x1b':
                                esc_mode = False
                        # esc mode
                        if ch == '\x1b':
                                esc_mode = True
                        # ctrl
                        elif ord(ch) in ctrl_codes.keys():


Iskren Hadzhinedev, 2013/11/04 12:33

If you're using X, you can get keycodes from the keyboard with the 'xev' program; it opens a window that prints in the terminal every event (mouse move, mouse button press, keypress, keyrelease, etc). I know I'm more than a year late, but google brought me here, so hopefully someone will find this useful. Cheers.

JK Benedict, 2014/08/30 03:36

First - thank you for this article as I have written a sub-routine for various *nix and non-nix systems to parse ANSI (as best as possible). Point is - I WORSHIP THIS OVERVIEW - especially when I come across individuals interested in making the most of bash, etc.

Second - I get to contribute!

@Bill – From bash, leverage the read command. I've included a few links for reference, but the general idea is that it can be used for "Hey, type in a something and press enter" to being nested in a loop condition to "trap" (that is a term you will want to look at) single key strokes. The command even goes as far to give a "timeout" if the user doesn't press any key!



and this sorta brings the previous links together in a practical example:


HTH! -jkbs @xenfomation

Albert25, 2015/07/10 08:46

Quickly see the foreground/background colors:

for b in {0..7} 9; do for f in {0..7} 9; do for attr in "" bold; do echo -e "$(tput setab $b; tput setaf $f; [ -n "$attr" ] && tput $attr) $f ON $b $attr $(tput sgr0)"; done; done; done

Or the same on several lines for readability:

  for b in {0..7} 9; do
      for f in {0..7} 9; do
          for attr in "" bold; do
             echo -e "$(tput setab $b; tput setaf $f; [ -n "$attr" ] && tput $attr) $f ON $b $attr $(tput sgr0)"
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  • scripting/terminalcodes.txt
  • Last modified: 2019/08/23 13:22
  • by artmieu