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Old 08-04-2006, 06:56 PM   #1
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Setting shell tab stop

Hi All,

Is there a way to set the shell tab stop (tab width?) in Linux (and also Solaris) for terminal output from utilities like echo, cat, diff, grep, etc?

I.e. I would like to use tab width 4 instead of 8, and if I do:

echo "123<tab>4"

I'd like to see (using dots instead of space, for clarity):


instead of


Which is the case with default tab width of 8.

Any info / suggestions are appreciated.

Old 08-04-2006, 09:23 PM   #2
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If I read the man page correctly, "setterm -regtabs 4" will do it.
Old 08-04-2006, 11:46 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by bigrigdriver
If I read the man page correctly, "setterm -regtabs 4" will do it.
I can't find setterm.... man setterm provides C function info.

Red Hat:
$ setterm
bash: setterm: command not found

ksh: setterm: not found
Old 08-05-2006, 03:42 AM   #4
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For Solaris, use the tabs command, eg:
tabs -2
printf "a\tb\tc\td\n"
tabs -4
printf "a\tb\tc\td\n"
I haven't a Linux box available right now to check if this applies to it too.


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