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Terminal parameters are stored as $LINES and $COLUMNS variables. Additionally you can use special term-operation programm, for example tput: tput lines # outputs the number of lines of the present terminal window. tput cols # outputs the number of columns of the present terminal window.


This command should give you the number of lines on the terminal: stty size | cut '-d ' -f1 Some systems might not implement stty size so you might need something like this instead: stty -a | tr \; \\012 | grep rows | tr -d ' rows'


Have you got specific operations in mind? Here is an example of using standout mode, which on many terminals will give a strong visible result: tput smso; echo hello, world; tput rmso If you were to pipe the sequence to, say, cat, the highlighting would become an empty operation because a pipe isn't a device that understands standout mode: ( tput smso; ...


Actually it is possible to inquire DEC terminals (and their clones and emulations, including xterm) about their capabilities; just not about individual escape sequence support (or its completeness). UNIX generally doesn't use this feature, relying on termcap/terminfo databases (which document the quirks as well). For reference, the sequences are DA ...

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