I'm not sure whether this is regarding a vim command or a screen command, although I think it's the latter.

I use vim under screen all the time, and every once in a while will hit a key combo that freezes the virtual terminal I'm using.

I can see everything, and I can still issue screen commands on that terminal, but I can't perform any actions within the terminal itself. I can create/flip to other virtual terminals and they all work nicely.

I've no idea what I'm doing to lock up one particular terminal.

Also, searching for answers online, CTRL-Q and CTRL-S are mentioned everywhere. Hitting CTRL-Q does nothing, and given the ambiguity of it, I tried both CTRL-q and CTRL-Q.


One other detail is that I'm using a Macbook, but I ~think~ I've had the same problem using KDE/Mint on a PC.

  • Does pressing Ctrl-W in insert mode remove a word? Maybe Ctrl-Q doesn't work because of some terminal oddity? Did you try using Command instead of Ctrl? – NieDzejkob Jan 19 '18 at 15:51

These keys are used for XON/XOFF flow control. If flow control is activated then Ctrl-S stops the terminal output. The screen commands still work as they are not part of the controlled terminal.

Ctrl-Q activates the terminal output. Thus it does not make a difference if Ctrl-S has not been pressed before.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.