I have 2 very useful shell scripts related to resizing consoles. The first is imaginatively called resize and just configures the terminal to be the requested size, neatly resizing an xterm or gnome-terminal:


# resize <rows> <columns>
/bin/echo -e '\033[8;'$1';'$2't'

The other is a bit more complicated and useful when connecting to a host via a serial console, or when driving a qemu VM with -display none -nographic and all output coming over a “serial console” on stdio. It figures out the size of the terminal it’s running in and correctly sets the local settings to match so you can take full advantage of a larger terminal than the default 80x24:


echo -ne '\e[s\e[5000;5000H'
IFS='[;' read -p $'\e[6n' -d R -a pos -rs
echo -ne '\e[u'

# cols / rows
echo "Size: ${pos[2]} x ${pos[1]}"

stty cols "${pos[2]}" rows "${pos[1]}"

export TERM=xterm-256color

Generally I source this with . fix-term or the TERM export doesn’t get applied. Both of these exist in various places around the ‘net (and there’s a resize binary shipped along with xterm) but I always forget the exact terms to find it again when I need it. So this post is mostly intended to serve as future reference next time I don’t have them handy.