It happens often that my cursor on gnome-terminal disappears, forcing me to work on a new tab/window. It seems like a random occurrence. Does anyone else experience this? What about other X terminal emulators? How can I fix this (or maybe it's just a bug)?

update: A simple work-around is to switch away from the terminal and switch back.

update 2: I don't experience this any more, maybe because I'm using GNOME 3 version of the terminal.


if running Ctrl+Q (as described in another Answer) doesn't work, it's possible that your TTY has been mangled by some other program you've run. Try running reset and then clear (or Ctrl+L) to initialze your terminal.


Could it be that you inadvertently press Ctrl+S, sending XOFF to your terminal and thus locking it?

Next time it happens, try pressing Ctrl+Q to unlock it.

  • No, that's not it. – Tshepang Feb 4 '11 at 15:44
  • 1
    Aha, that's what happened to me! Thanks to you that I'm learning about Ctrl-Q now! – imz -- Ivan Zakharyaschev Apr 27 '11 at 12:29
  • Reading extra comments: I always wondered why did my terminal randomly lock. This might be it : D – arod May 23 '18 at 13:42

You may have inadvertently hit the VT320 escape sequence to hide the cursor. If so, then neither Ctrl+Q, nor reset, nor clear, nor Ctrl+L will help.

What worked for me was to use the following command to send the VT320 "unhide" command sequence:

echo -en "\e[?25h"

  • I just hit this, thanks for the answer. I wonder how it happened in the first place, but oh well (: – jwd Apr 29 at 21:37

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