clear 1 2023-09-16 ncurses 6.4 User commands

clear(1)                         User commands                        clear(1)


       clear - clear the terminal screen


       clear [-Ttype] [-V] [-x]


       clear  clears your terminal's screen if this is possible, including the
       terminal's scrollback  buffer  (if  the  extended  "E3"  capability  is
       defined).   clear  looks in the environment for the terminal type given
       by the environment variable TERM, and then in the terminfo database  to
       determine how to clear the screen.

       clear  writes  to  the  standard output.  You can redirect the standard
       output to a file (which  prevents  clear  from  actually  clearing  the
       screen),  and  later  cat  the  file to the screen, clearing it at that


       -T type
            indicates  the  type  of  terminal.   Normally  this   option   is
            unnecessary,  because  the  default  is taken from the environment
            variable TERM.  If -T is specified, then the shell variables LINES
            and COLUMNS will also be ignored.

       -V   reports the version of ncurses which was used in this program, and
            exits.  The options are as follows:

       -x   do not attempt to clear the terminal's scrollback buffer using the
            extended "E3" capability.


       A  clear  command  appeared  in 2.79BSD dated February 24, 1979.  Later
       that was provided in Unix 8th edition (1985).

       AT&T adapted a different BSD program  (tset)  to  make  a  new  command
       (tput),  and used this to replace the clear command with a shell script
       which calls tput clear, e.g.,

           /usr/bin/tput ${1:+-T$1} clear 2> /dev/null

       In 1989, when Keith Bostic revised the BSD  tput  command  to  make  it
       similar  to  the  AT&T  tput,  he  added  a  shell script for the clear

           exec tput clear

       The remainder of the script in each case is a copyright notice.

       The ncurses clear command began in 1995 by adapting  the  original  BSD
       clear command (with terminfo, of course).

       The E3 extension came later:

       o   In  June  1999, xterm provided an extension to the standard control
           sequence for clearing the screen.  Rather than  clearing  just  the
           visible part of the screen using

               printf '\033[2J'

           one could clear the scrollback using

               printf '\033[3J'

           This  is  documented  in  XTerm  Control  Sequences  as  a  feature
           originating with xterm.

       o   A few other terminal developers adopted the feature, e.g., PuTTY in

       o   In  April  2011, a Red Hat developer submitted a patch to the Linux
           kernel, modifying its console driver to do  the  same  thing.   The
           Linux  change,  part  of  the  3.0  release, did not mention xterm,
           although it was cited in the Red Hat bug report (#683733) which led
           to the change.

       o   Again,  a  few  other terminal developers adopted the feature.  But
           the next relevant step was a change to the clear program in 2013 to
           incorporate this extension.

       o   In  2013,  the E3 extension was overlooked in tput with the "clear"
           parameter.  That was addressed in  2016  by  reorganizing  tput  to
           share its logic with clear and tset.


       Neither IEEE Std 1003.1/The Open  Group  Base  Specifications  Issue  7
       (POSIX.1-2008) nor X/Open Curses Issue 7 documents tset or reset.

       The latter documents tput, which could be used to replace this  utility
       either  via  a shell script or by an alias (such as a symbolic link) to
       run tput as clear.


       tput(1), xterm(1), terminfo(5).

       This describes ncurses version 6.4 (patch 20230917).

ncurses 6.4                       2023-09-16                          clear(1)