Due to the way Terminal clears the screen with the Ctrl + L shortcut, I'm unfortunately finding myself using other terminals for most things.

I work with logs a lot, and need to be able to quickly Ctrl + Shift + A to Select All and copy text into some other app. If I can clear the buffer, I can easily get the text I need without all the unrelated history.

Unfortunately as Terminal leaves the buffer in place when using Ctrl + L, Select All contains the entire session's history, not just the recent logs. This is a big deal with you're trying to view the last 500 lines of a command line session that has 10k lines.

I understand that Ctrl + L is just clear screen, and so also clearing the buffer might be something entirely different, but the lack of this is slowing me down. Thanks for your great work!


2 Answers 2


The reset command might be what you are looking for.

  • Unfortunately this doesn't work unless I'm able to enter the reset command into the terminal. For example, if running a local webserver, to enter reset I'd need to stop the server to enter the command.
    – James
    Commented Apr 7, 2016 at 4:47
  • Can you put your task in background mode (Ctrl+Z), do reset (and eventually put it back into the foreground with fg) ?
    – lemonslice
    Commented Nov 10, 2016 at 12:29

The best way IMO is to install a terminal you're already used to that already has that function. In my case, I installed gnome-terminal:

sudo apt-get install gnome-terminal

then ran these two commands to make it the default:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.default-applications.terminal exec gnome-terminal gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.default-applications.terminal exec-arg

Since I'm used to the cmd+k key to clear the terminal in macOS, I added Super+K (Super is the windows key) as a shortcut combination for Reset and Clear

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