Read a keypress without echoing it

stty cbreak -echo; KEY=$(dd bs=1 count=1 2>/dev/null); stty -cbreak echo
This shell snippet reads a single keypress from stdin and stores it in the $KEY variable. You do NOT have to press the enter key! The key is NOT echoed to stdout! This is useful for implementing simple text menus in scripts and similar things.

By: inof
2009-06-09 13:15:49

What Others Think

This is very interesting, and could be helpful for some of my scripts :)
leviself · 606 weeks and 1 day ago
The read command actually does this for you. -s for silent (i.e. no echo), and -n1 to tell it that you only want the one character read. read -s -n1 KEY
Hobbletoe · 606 weeks ago
wow i came to favourite inof's, but hobbletoe's seems even awesomer! definitely have some scripts that will be improved by this!
cephi · 605 weeks and 4 days ago
Hobbletoe: "read -s" is non-standard and not portable. I guess it works only with bash (I don't have a bash here, so I can't test, but none of my other bourne shell implementations support it).
inof · 605 weeks and 1 day ago

What do you think?

Any thoughts on this command? Does it work on your machine? Can you do the same thing with only 14 characters?

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