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Use UNIX Control Characters

NOTE: This document refers to software or hardware that is not currently supported by the University of Wyoming Information Technology Client Support Services. Although the information is
believed to be correct, be aware that since no support is available, this information may be out-of-date or possibly no longer valid.


You can use Control Characters in UNIX to help you control your interaction with the system. Using the stty command can change these Control Characters.

Standard Control Characters

Standard Control Characters are listed as follows:

Keyboardstty variable


<Ctrl>+d eof End of file character. This can be commonly used to exit from a program or shell
<Ctrl>+h erase Erase (backspace) character.
<Ctrl>+z susp Suspend Character. This pauses the current job and puts it in the background. See Job Control How To for more information
<Ctrl>+u kill Kill Character. Deletes text from cursor back to start of line
<Ctrl>+c intr Interrupt Character. This will interrupt the job currently running in the foreground.

Changing the Control Characters

The Control Characters are usually set in the .zlogin file. If you do not mention them in your .zlogin file, they default to the conditions listed above. The stty command is used to change Control Characters. An example of changing the Control Character for eof to <Ctrl>+e is as follows:

stty eof \^e

To change the Control Character for erasing to <Ctrl>+? (which is frequently the <Delete> key), enter the following:

stty erase \^?


Reviewed: 0706 By: CD

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Contact the IT Help Desk at 766-HELP (4357), option 1
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