Fix corrupted terminal output

Wayne Sierke ws at
Wed Sep 24 01:03:12 UTC 2008

On Tue, 2008-09-23 at 17:09 -0700, Chris St Denis wrote:
> Occasionally, I accidentially cat a binary file or a directory casing 
> the terminal output to be corrupted with text looking like (don't know 
> if this will make it through the mail cleanly)
>     E???? ??? ?? ?????????.
>     ????2#
> To fix this normally I just close the window and open a new ssh 
> connection, but I am wondering if there is a more clean way to do this. 
> I've tried reset(1), but it doesn't seem to help any.

The terminal has probably switched to an alternate charset mode. I
recently encountered this situation while using tmux and found that
issuing 'reset' was ineffectual. To recover from this try issuing a \017
character to the terminal, or the escape sequence: ^[[m. How you can do
that most easily depends on which shell you're using at the time, so you
can try:

        /bin/echo ^v^o		(^v is ctrl-v  ^o is ctrl-o)
        /bin/sh -c "echo -e \\017"
        /bin/echo ^v^[[m
        /bin/sh -c "echo -e \\033[m"

Thanks go to Nicholas Marriott for pointing out this solution.


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