setterm writes to standard output a character string that will invoke
the specified terminal capabilities. Where possible terminfo is consulted
to find the string to use. Some options however (marked “virtual
consoles only” below) do not correspond to a terminfo(5)
In this case, if the terminal type is “con” or “linux” the string
that invokes the specified capabilities on the PC Minix virtual console
driver is output. Options that are not implemented by the terminal are
For boolean options (on or off), the default is on.
For conciseness, an 8-color below is black, red, green, yellow, blue,
magenta, cyan, or white.
A 16-color is an 8-color, grey, or bright followed by red, green, yellow,
blue, magenta, cyan, or white.
The various color options may be set independently, at least at virtual
consoles, though the results of setting multiple modes (for example,
-underline and -half-bright) are hardware-dependent.
Overrides the TERM environment variable.
-reset Displays the terminal reset string, which typically
terminal to its power on state.
Displays the terminal initialization string, which typically
sets the terminal’s rendering options, and other attributes to
the default values.
Turns the terminal’s cursor on or off.
-repeat [on|off] (virtual consoles only)
Turns keyboard repeat on or off.
-appcursorkeys [on|off] (virtual consoles only)
Sets Cursor Key Application Mode on or off. When on, ESC O A,
ESC O B, etc. will be sent for the cursor keys instead of ESC [
A, ESC [ B, etc. See the “vi and Cursor-Keys” section of the
Text-Terminal-HOWTO for how this can cause problems for vi
-linewrap [on|off] (virtual consoles only)
Turns automatic line-wrapping on or off.
Sets the terminal’s rendering options to the default values.
Clears tab stops from the given horizontal cursor positions, in
the range 1-160. Without arguments, clears all tab stops.
-regtabs [1-160] (virtual consoles only)
Clears all tab stops, then sets a regular tab stop pattern, with
one tab every specified number of positions. Without an argument,
defaults to 8.
-blank [0-60] (virtual consoles only)
Sets the interval of inactivity, in minutes, after which the
screen will be automatically blanked (using APM if available).
Without an argument, defaults to 0 (disable console blanking).
Writes a snapshot of the given virtual console (with attributes)
to the file specified in the -file option, overwriting its contents;
the default is screen.dump. Without an argument, dumps
the current virtual console. Overrides -append.
Like -dump, but appends to the snapshot file instead of overwriting
it. Only works if no -dump options are given.
Sets the snapshot file name for any -dump or -append options on
the same command line. If this option is not present, the
default is screen.dump in the current directory.
-msg [on|off] (virtual consoles only)
Enables or disables the sending of kernel printk() messages to
-msglevel 1-8 (virtual consoles only)
Sets the console logging level for kernel printk() messages.
All messages strictly more important than this will be printed,
so a logging level of 0 has the same effect as -msgon and a
logging level of 8 will print all kernel messages. klogd(8)
be a more convenient interface to the logging of kernel messages.
Puts the monitor into VESA vsync suspend mode.
Puts the monitor into VESA hsync suspend mode.
Puts the monitor into VESA powerdown mode.
Turns off monitor VESA powersaving features.
Sets the VESA powerdown interval in minutes. Without an argument,
defaults to 0 (disable powerdown). If the console is
blanked or the monitor is in suspend mode, then the monitor will
go into vsync suspend mode or powerdown mode respectively after
this period of time has elapsed.
Sets the bell duration in milliseconds. Without an argument,
defaults to 0.
Sets the bell frequency in Hz. Without an argument, defaults to