How to Clear the Terminal Screen in Linux [4 Quick Ways]


To clear the Terminal screen in Linux, try these four methods:

  1. Execute the clear command to clean the Terminal screen swiftly.
  2. Press Ctrl + L keys for an immediate Terminal screen clearing.
  3. Run the reset shell command to clear the Terminal screen and reset its settings.
  4. Customize options to adjust advanced clearing Settings in Terminal emulators to suit your preferences.

However, when facing Terminal clearing issues like improper clearing, flickering, or artifacts, update your Terminal emulator using sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade, check for hardware issues with lspci | grep -i vga, and reset the Terminal using the reset command while ensuring the ncurses package is installed. These solutions should help resolve common Terminal clearing problems.

Find out more about how to clear the Terminal screen in Linux, including common troubleshooting methods and quick tips in my detailed guide below.

A clear Terminal screen is essential for efficient command-line navigation and an organized working environment. With the widespread usage of Linux operating systems, it is crucial to be familiar with multiple methods to clear the Terminal screen. In this article, we will explore four proven methods to clear the Terminal screen in Linux, helping you maintain a clutter-free workspace.

How to Clear the Terminal Screen in Linux [4 Easy Methods]

To clear the Terminal screen in Linux, you can use the clear command, shortcut keys, and shell commands. You can also customize options in Terminal emulators to tailor screen clearing to your preferences. Here’s the breakdown for each method:

1. Clear Command

The clear command is a simple yet effective way to clear your Terminal screen. It sends a special character sequence to the Terminal, which instructs it to reset and clear the screen. Let’s try this method here:

  1. Launch the Terminal window on your Linux machine.
launch the terminal window
  1. Run some commands like sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade to clutter the screen. But in case your Terminal screen is already filled up, just move on to the next step.
run some commands
  1. Now, type clear and press Enter.
type clear and press enter
  1. Once this command executes, it will clear the Terminal screen immediately.
clear the terminal screen immediately

2. Shortcut Keys

Shortcut keys provide a quick and convenient method for clearing the Terminal screen. Here’s the step-by-step guide to using these shortcuts:

  1. Press Ctrl + Alt + T to launch the Terminal window.
launch the terminal window shortcut
  1. Once the Terminal is open, run any command to populate the screen. You can run sudo apt update.
run any command to populate the screen
  1. Then, press Ctrl + L to clear the Terminal screen.
to clear the terminal screen
  1. The Terminal screen will be cleared instantly.
terminal screen will be cleared instantly

3. Shell Command

Shell commands offer another way to clear the Terminal screen. The reset command, for instance, can be used to clear the Terminal screen and reset the Terminal settings to their defaults. Here’s how you can use this method:

  1. In the Terminal window, execute some commands to fill up the screen. Here, I’ve used sudo apt upgrade.
execute some commands to fill up the screen
  1. Type reset and press Enter.
type reset and press enter
  1. The Terminal screen will be cleared, and its settings will be reset to default.
terminal screen will be cleared and its settings will be reset

4. Customization Options

Some Terminal emulators offer advanced customization options for clearing the screen. These options can be configured to suit your preferences.

  1. Open the Terminal Settings or Preferences menu.
terminal settings or preferences menu
  1. Navigate to Shortcuts, and then locate the Reset and Clear option in the list.
navigate to shortcuts and then locate the reset and clear
  1. Simply click or press Enter on the selected text field to configure the desired settings, such as key bindings or behavior. Then, close and restart the Terminal if necessary.
simply click or press enter to configure the desired settings
  1. Now, run any random command to fill the Terminal window.
run any random command to fill the terminal window
  1. Now, press Alt + R to clear the Terminal screen.
to clear the terminal screen linux

3 Common Troubleshooting Terminal Clearing Issues

If you expereince issues when clearing the Terminal screen, such as improper cleaning, flickering, or residual artifacts, consider these three effective solutions to resolve the problem and achieve a seamless experience:

1. Update Your Terminal Emulator

Outdated Terminal emulators may exhibit unexpected behavior. Ensure you are using the latest version of Terminal by checking for updates based on your Linux distro. Use the sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade command to update your Terminal emulator.

update your terminal emulator

2. Check for Hardware Issues

Graphics cards or display issues could cause flickering or artifacts. Test your hardware and troubleshoot any problems. You can use the lspci | grep -i vga command to check for hardware information. If there are any issues, consult the manufacturer’s documentation or seek assistance from technical support.

check for hardware issues

3. Check Terminal Compatibility

Terminal emulators may have varying degrees of compatibility with different shell environments. Some emulators work better with certain shells than others. If you’re experiencing clearing issues, try using a different terminal emulator to see if the problem persists. Popular alternatives include Konsole, Tilix, Alacritty, and iTerm2.

check terminal compatibility

5 Quick Tips for Terminal Screen in Linux

To enhance your Linux Terminal experience and boost your productivity, you should follow these five quick tips. They will empower you to navigate the command line like a pro and accomplish tasks with much more efficiency:

  • ♻️ Reuse previous commands: Press the Up arrow key to cycle through your command history, saving time by reusing previous commands. This is especially useful when you need to repeat a command or slightly modify a previously executed command.
  • 🔎 Autocomplete commands: Press the Tab key to autocomplete commands and file paths. This feature can save you time and minimize typing errors. When you start typing a command or file path and press Tab, the Terminal will automatically complete it based on the available options, or it will show you a list of possible options to choose from.
  • ⌨️ Learn keyboard shortcuts: Familiarize yourself with various keyboard shortcuts to navigate and manage the Terminal screen efficiently. For example, Ctrl + C stops the currently running command, Ctrl + D logs out of the current session, Ctrl + Z suspends the currently running process, and Ctrl + L clears the Terminal screen. Exploring and mastering these shortcuts can significantly speed up your workflow and make your Terminal experience more seamless.
  • 💻 Customize your Terminal: Personalize your Terminal by adjusting the colors, fonts, and layout to create a comfortable and efficient workspace. Most Terminal emulators provide options to customize the appearance, such as changing the background and foreground colors, modifying the font size and type, and configuring the Terminal window size and position. Explore the Preferences or Settings of your Terminal emulator to make it visually appealing and tailored to your preferences.
  • 🔀 Use aliases: To minimize typing and streamline your workflow, create aliases for frequently used commands. For example, you can create an alias for the ls -l command, so instead of typing this command, you can simply use your defined alias, such as ll. To create this alias in your Terminal, add alias ll=’ls -l’ line to your shell configuration file (e.g., ~/.bashrc or ~/.zshrc). After saving the configuration file, you can use the ll command in the Terminal to execute ls -l. This can save you time and make your workflow more efficient, especially when using long or complex commands frequently.

To Sum Up

Mastering the art of clearing a Terminal screen in Linux is essential for efficient command-line navigation and enhanced productivity. By implementing any of the four proven methods discussed in this article, you can effortlessly maintain a clutter-free working environment within their Terminal emulator.

To learn more about bash scripting, check out my latest articles on how to clear Bash history, debug code with set x, or use the echo command in Bash environemnt to improve the code’s readeablity. By exploring these articles, you’ll deepen your understanding of Bash, which is important for becoming a proficient Linux programmer. Start your journey with me and take your Linux programming skills to the next level!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the advantages of clearing the Terminal screen?

Clearing the Terminal screen offers several advantages. It helps maintain an organized and clutter-free working environment, reducing visual distractions and allowing you to focus on new commands and output. Additionally, a clear screen enhances readability, making locating and reviewing information easier, leading to improved navigation efficiency and productivity.

Can I recover cleared output or commands?

While it is not possible to recover cleared output directly, you can still access previous commands using the command history feature. By pressing the Up arrow key, you can cycle through your command history and retrieve previously executed commands. This feature is a helpful way to review, modify, or reuse previously entered commands, saving time and minimizing the need for retyping.

Are there any risks involved in clearing the Terminal screen?

Clearing the Terminal screen is generally safe and poses no significant risks. However, it is essential to understand that once the screen is cleared, the previous output and commands are permanently erased. Therefore, it is crucial to exercise caution and ensure that you have extracted any necessary information or recorded important outputs before clearing the screen.

Can I customize the appearance of the cleared screen?

Absolutely! You can customize the appearance of your cleared Terminal screen by adjusting settings such as colors, fonts, and layouts in your Terminal emulator’s preferences or configuration menu. Each Terminal emulator provides options for customization, allowing you to personalize the appearance of the cleared screen to suit your preferences and create a visually pleasing and comfortable working environment. Explore the settings of your Terminal emulator to unleash the potential of customization and tailor it to your liking.