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Thread: confusion with terminal

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    confusion with terminal

    When I use the terminal, lines generally start with:

    user@ubuntu:~$

    and you type in your commands etc. but sometimes this disappears and there's nothing at the start of each line (i.e. if you open the terminal and type in grep -l file).

    The only way I know to get back to the 'normal' mode with user@ubuntu:~$ starting each line is to close the terminal and re-open it. I've tried typing stuff in i.e. exit, quit, q etc. but it just seems to ignore anything you enter...

    is there a way to get back to the normal mode / whatever it's called? Or have I effectively broken it and just need to make sure I do things right so I don't get into that situation (which I guess would come with experience)...

    any help on this would be great.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

    Re: confusion with terminal

    That usually means that your command is broken for whatever reason. When that happens, press ctrl+c to interrupt whatever is going on.
    grep -l file is not complete, there are no files listed (and you get into the interactive mode where you type scanned text by hand), assuming the first word is the pattern you want to find
    grep -options pattern file(s)
    Last edited by Vaphell; November 17th, 2012 at 02:30 AM.
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  3. #3
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    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: confusion with terminal

    The Ctrl+C thing usually helps if something is running that you want to stop, or sometimes Ctrl+Z then enter if something interactive is waiting for input. Or Ctrl+D closes a terminal.

    But if you less or cat certain files that turn out to be binary, and the binary code includes something that the terminal takes to be ansi screen codes to change text or background color or the prompt, you can sometimes end up with no prompt, sometimes no echo of characters typed, or sometimes totally black on black (or white on white) invisible text. In that case you can type (blindly if you cannot read it):

    Code:
    stty sane
    hit Enter, and your screen should return to normal.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal

    Re: confusion with terminal

    Ctrl+C is what I use the most as well, it seems to break / stop whatever the system is doing in the terminal. And then it goes back to the user@system

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: confusion with terminal

    Quote Originally Posted by usernamer View Post
    ...(i.e. if you open the terminal and type in grep -l file).
    That command does exactly what you tell it to do ;
    Grep takes (optional) options, a string to search for and an optional file specification. If you omit the last one, like you do, it will read from standard input (your keyboard).

    As others stated, <ctrl>c will get you out.

    I'm not on a Linux system to demonstrate.
    If you don't make backups of your important data, your data is obviously not important to you.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    Re: confusion with terminal

    Thanks guys, I'd actually used ctrl C for stopping stuff (like infinite or just big loops) before, so surprised I hadn't tried that. Worked like a charm

    Big ty for the help.

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