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Getting your terminal unstuck

Have you ever had your terminal freezing on you for a reason you can’t identify? Fret no more, because this post will save your future login session.

Your problems are most likely caused by sending an XOFF character to the server, by pressing CTRL-S. The XOFF character is a flow control character, which instructs the server to stop sending data. To undo this, you need to send an XON character, which you can do with CTRL-Q.

Misfortune would have it that CTRL-S is the forward search command of the readline library. This makes searching in your bash history, among other things, a little annoying. Luckily, you’ll mostly use CTRL-R, for backward search, but sometimes you need a forward search as well. I would welcome any suggestion as to how to use CTRL-S without having your terminal freezing on you. The terminal program I use, Putty, doesn’t seem to have an option for it.


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