One of the applications I use at work sometimes screws with my bash and so I don't see my own input anymore. I.e.

$ echo foo


$ foo $

I incorrectly tried to run stty -echo which made matters worse and now it stopps accepting commands all together which put my input in some state that just causes > to appear every time I line break and nothing else.

What should I have done?

  • 4
    Try to run reset for a good start. Of course you cannot enter now any command into this terminal so from another one try something like cat >/dev/pts/3 where 3 is your problematic terminal number and then hit the following keys: ESC c ENTER Ctrl-D.
    – jimmij
    Oct 30, 2014 at 9:34

2 Answers 2


The usual remedy for things like this is

stty sane

The stty -echo should not have made this worse, as that just turns off echoing of input, and you already had that.

The fact that you say returns just causes > to appear means that you've started somethng that is causing continuance over the next lines, e.g. echo ' will do that because it's waiting for the closing ' to terminate the string. Other things will cause this as well, such as if something; it's waiting for the then ... fi part.

You could probably have hit ctrl-c at that stage to stop it waiting for the rest of the command, unless the terminal was so messed up that interrupts were also not being generated.

  • Ah that makes sense. I tried hitting both ctrl + c and ctrl + z but didn't seem to accomplish anything.
    – Kit Sunde
    Oct 31, 2014 at 7:03

In addition to @wurtel's answer (especially the likely explanation of the > problem), stty echo is the opposite of stty -echo, so you might use that. You can also use reset, which usually comes with ncurses packages.

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