getting a terminal to STOP showing colors

Byron Clark byron at
Tue Nov 11 15:39:21 MST 2008

On Tue, Nov 11, 2008 at 03:28:06PM -0700, Bryan Sant wrote:
> So I'm too lazy to look through the cat code, but I'm guessing that
> cat is explicitly striping ANSI codes (??).  Or is the shell (or
> something else) doing something magical?  You don't get any color/ANSI
> codes if you do "ls > foo" either.  I don't fully understand why.

ls checks to see if stdout is a tty.  If stdout isn't a tty then
it doesn't output any non-printable characters (including ANSI escape
sequences).  ls also limits output to one item per line after detecting
that stdout is not a tty.

Byron Clark

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