SUMMARY: backspace in my xterm window

From: Christopher L. Barnard (
Date: Mon Nov 04 1996 - 13:16:38 CST

I asked:

> I've got an odd problem. Periodically, an xterm will stop interpreting
> the backspace correctly. This is /usr/openwin/bin/xterm running Solaris
> 2.5[.1]. I currently have two xterm processes, one busted and one not,
> and the output of "stty -a" on both of them is the same. So I'm not sure
> what is causing it. What is happening is that rather than deleting the
> character when I hit backspace, it spaces the character ahead. so in
> other words if I have the string
> abcd
> ^
> cursor located here
> and I delete it by either hitting the backspace key four times or typing
> Control-U, I end up with
> a b c d
> ^
> cursor located here
> Subsequent commands on this line are interpreted correctly, so the letters
> are definitely deleted. But it is rather distracting to read.
> In case it helps, here is the output of an "stty -a" command in the busted
> xterm window:
> speed 9600 baud;
> rows = 52; columns = 80; ypixels = 784; xpixels = 740;
> eucw 1:0:0:0, scrw 1:0:0:0
> intr = ^c; quit = ^|; erase = ^h; kill = ^u;
> eof = ^d; eol = <undef>; eol2 = <undef>; swtch = <undef>;
> start = ^q; stop = ^s; susp = ^z; dsusp = ^y;
> rprnt = ^r; flush = ^o; werase = ^w; lnext = ^v;
> -parenb -parodd cs8 -cstopb -hupcl cread -clocal -loblk -crtscts -crtsxoff -parext
> -ignbrk brkint -ignpar -parmrk -inpck -istrip -inlcr -igncr icrnl -iuclc
> ixon -ixany -ixoff imaxbel
> isig icanon -xcase echo echoe echok -echonl -noflsh
> -tostop echoctl -echoprt echoke -defecho -flusho -pendin iexten
> opost -olcuc onlcr -ocrnl -onocr -onlret -ofill -ofdel tab3
> my TERM environment variable is set to xterm, but the problem does not
> go away if I set it to vt100 or sun-cmd.
> Man pages for xterm, stty, and set haven't helped, but I think I'm probably
> just looking in the wrong place. Thanks...

The Solution:

Well, I didn't really get a solution. I did get a workaround that is
sufficient, though. No one had any suggestions as to what may be actually
causing the problem, but by issuing a hard reset to the xterm process
(CTRL-center mouse button within the xterm itself) I am able to reset the
xterm when it gets screwed up. All I have to do now when I try to edit
a file with vi in an xterm with TERM set to sun-cmd is to do a hard reset
of the xterm and normality returns.

Thanks to: (Brent Bice) (Frank Pardo)
Saeed Mostofizadeh <>

for their suggestions and information, and (Jack Goldsmith), who had a workable solution for me.

| Christopher L. Barnard O When I was a boy I was told that |
| / \ anybody could become president. |
| (312) 347-4901 O---O Now I'm beginning to believe it. |
| --Clarence Darrow |
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