I know that if I want to make xterm erase a character when I press backspace, I do: stty erase ^? but I also want xterm to erase a character when I press shift+backspace, and I can't find an explanation for how to do this.

With a little C program using ncurses, I have determined that when I press shift+backspace, it translates to the following sequence of bytes:

27 91 51 59 50 126

When I press ctrl-v and then shift+backspace, it shows up in xterm as:

^[[3;2~ (where ^[ is, of course, the escape character, ASCII byte 27).

I have tried doing stty erase followed by ctrl-v, shift+backspace but I get the following result:

 ~ > stty erase ^[[3;2~
stty: invalid integer argument `\033[3'
Try `stty --help' for more information.
2~: Command not found.

Is there a way to do this? Or is it impossible because shift+backspace is not a single byte but 6?

  • 2
    try xterm -xrm '*VT100*translations: #override Shift <Key>BackSpace:string(\1 77)', and if it works, make that xrm argument loaded by xrdb in each session (usually by adding it to ~/.Xresources, though that's not guaranteed to work on all desktops)
    – pizdelect
    Oct 24 '19 at 16:00
  • 1
    stty can only "bind" single bytes, not escapes like ^[[3;2~, and cannot bind multiple bytes to the same action.
    – pizdelect
    Oct 24 '19 at 16:01
  • I tried that xterm -xrm ... command, but it doesn't perform a backspace when I do shift+backspace. However, it also doesn't echo 2~, which was the current behavior; it just nothing. Any idea what might be going on? Oct 24 '19 at 18:17
  • 1
    copy-pasto, my bad, sorry; a space has slipped between the \1 and the 77 of \177 (same as 0x7f ^?). Corrected command: xterm -xrm '*VT100*translations: #override Shift <Key>BackSpace:string(\177)'
    – pizdelect
    Oct 24 '19 at 18:51
  • Perfect! Thanks so much! Oct 24 '19 at 18:57

As pizdelect pointed out in a comment:

xterm -xrm '*VT100*translations: #override Shift <Key>BackSpace:string(\177)'

Put this into ~/.Xresources to have it loaded by xrdb for each session.

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