3.7. Clearing and Resetting the Terminal

After even one ls command in a shell prompt, the terminal window you are working in can begin to look crowded. You can always exit from the terminal window and open a new one, but there is a quicker and easier way to remove the contents displayed in the terminal.

Try typing the command clear at the shell prompt. The clear command does just what it implies: it clears the terminal window.


A useful shortcut to typing clear at a shell prompt is to press [Ctrl]-[L], which also clears terminal. Refer to Appendix F Keyboard Shortcuts for more useful shortcuts.

Sometimes, you may accidentally open a program file or some other non-text file in a terminal window. Once you close the file, you could find that the text you are typing does not match the output on the monitor.

In such cases, type reset to return the terminal window to its default values.