chgat - Linux


chgat (short for "change attribute") is a Linux command-line utility used to modify the terminal attributes of the current process or a specified device. It allows precise control over low-level terminal settings, enabling customization of text rendering, cursor behavior, and input handling.


chgat [-l] [-a] [-n] [-o] [-e] [-r] [option[,option]...]


  • -l: List the current terminal attributes.
  • -a: Apply changes to all processes belonging to the current terminal.
  • -n: Do not make any changes, just print what chgat would do.
  • -o: Output the attributes in a format that can be used by stty.
  • -e: Capture the output and execute it as a stty command.
  • -r: Restore the terminal attributes to their initial state.

Common Options

  • baud: Set the baud rate for the terminal.
  • cols: Set the number of columns in the terminal window.
  • crterase: Enable or disable the backspace key to also delete characters.
  • crtkill: Enable or disable the ^U key (Ctrl+U) to kill a line.
  • echo: Enable or disable local echo of user input.
  • icanon: Enable or disable canonical input mode.
  • isig: Enable or disable signal generation for common characters (^C, ^Z, etc.).
  • oflag: Enable or disable output options (ONLCR, OCRNL, ONOCR, ONLRET).
  • rows: Set the number of rows in the terminal window.


  • Change the terminal background color to red:
    chgat -e bg=red

  • Disable canonical input mode for raw input handling:
    chgat -e -icanon

  • Restore the terminal to its default settings:
    chgat -r

Common Issues

  • Incorrect syntax can lead to errors. Ensure the correct options and values are provided.
  • Some options may not be supported by all terminals. Verify the capabilities of the terminal before using advanced settings.
  • Changes made with chgat are temporary and will be lost upon closing the terminal session. Consider using scripts or other methods to persist the settings.


chgat can be integrated with other commands to enhance terminal functionality:

  • Use with tput for cursor positioning and screen manipulation.
  • Combine with stty to set additional terminal attributes.
  • Incorporate chgat into scripts to automate terminal customization tasks.

Related Commands

  • stty: Set and display terminal settings.
  • tput: Manipulate the cursor and screen.
  • termcap: Access terminal capabilities.
  • less: Pager with advanced customization options.