backup terminal title

Dominic Fandrey kamikaze at
Sun Feb 7 10:25:14 UTC 2010

Erik Trulsson wrote:
> On Sun, Feb 07, 2010 at 09:49:54AM +0100, Dominic Fandrey wrote:
>> Dominic Fandrey wrote:
>>> perryh at wrote:
>>>>> I wish to use  the "\033]0;%s\007" sequence in a shell-script to
>>>>> set the title of a terminal. But only if I am able to undo it.
>>>>> My requirement is that this must be done without using anything
>>>>> outside the base system.
>>>> There is an escape sequence which will cause the terminal to echo
>>>> back its current title, but it's a bit tricky to use given only
>>>> base-system tools because the echo ends with, IIRC, \007 rather
>>>> than \n.  It may be possible in some shells to temporarily set the
>>>> line-end character to \007.  You probably also want to (somehow)
>>>> cover problematic cases like terminals that don't reply to the
>>>> inquiry even though TERMCAP implies that they should.
>>> That actually doesn't sound tricky at all, remember that the
>>> original sequence to change the title also ends with \007.
>>> Where can I find this magical sequence?
>>> I've been trying to read:
>>> But the Syntax is really cryptic.
>> I finally got it:
>> printf "\033[22;0t"
>> 	This stores the current icon and window titles on a stack.
>> printf "\033[23;0t"
>> 	This restores them from the stack.
>> It works fine with xterm, has no effect on rxvt-unicode (which I
>> am using), though.
>> That might well be a termcap problem. I've got to look into this.
> Not a termcap problem. A terminal problem rather.  This "storing title
> on a stack" stuff is something very few terminals support.  Recent
> xterms does, but few if any others.

You're right my testing confirms that. I used the official termcap info
from urxvt (needed some reformatting to use it) and it didn't fix the

> Other terminals will at best have sequences for "set title" and "read
> current title".  

Unfortunately the sequence to return the title seems to be implemented
(it returns the surrounding sequence as described in, but the string
in there is empty.

I contacted the main developer of rxvt-unicode with my problem.
I figure the stack solution is the most traditional and convenient
approch in my opinion. Maybe he'll agree.

A: Because it fouls the order in which people normally read text.
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