The “clear” command is a command-line utility used to clear the contents of the terminal screen, providing a clean and empty slate. When you execute the “clear” command, it removes all the text and output that was previously displayed in the terminal window, effectively clearing the screen.
The primary purpose of the “clear” command is to improve readability and organization in the terminal environment. As you run commands and programs in the terminal, the output and information can quickly accumulate, making the screen cluttered and difficult to read. By using the “clear” command, you can remove all the previous output and start with a fresh, empty terminal screen.
When you invoke the “clear” command, the terminal screen is typically cleared by scrolling the existing content upward, leaving a blank space at the bottom of the window. Some terminals might also provide an option to simply move the prompt to the top of the screen without scrolling the content. Regardless of the specific implementation, the result is the same – a clean and empty terminal screen ready for new input or output.
The “clear” command is commonly used when you want to start a new task or work on a clean slate in the terminal. It helps improve focus and readability, especially when dealing with long outputs or complex command sequences. It’s particularly useful in situations where you want to clear the terminal screen to make room for new output or when you want to keep your terminal session organized.
It’s important to note that the “clear” command only clears the visible contents of the terminal screen; it does not affect the command history or any running processes in the terminal session. It simply provides a cosmetic change to improve the visual clarity of the terminal interface.
clear Command Examples
1. Clear the screen (equivalent to pressing Control-L in Bash shell):
2. Clear the screen but keep the terminal’s scrollback buffer:
# clear -x
3. Indicate the type of terminal to clean (defaults to the value of the environment variable TERM):
# clear -T type_of_terminal
4. Show the version of ncurses used by clear:
# clear -V
In summary, the “clear” command is a simple utility used to clear the contents of the terminal screen, removing previous output and providing a clean working environment. It improves readability and organization in the terminal and is commonly used to start fresh or create a clear separation between tasks.