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Section: Misc. Reference Manual Pages (1M)


infocmp - compare or print out terminfo descriptions 


infocmp [-1CEFGILTVcdegilnpqrtu]

      [-v n] [-s dilc] [-R subset]

      [-w width] [-A directory] [-B directory]



infocmp can be used to compare a binary terminfo entry with otherterminfo entries, rewrite a terminfo description to take advantage of theuse= terminfo field, or print out a terminfo description from thebinary file (term) in a variety of formats. In all cases, the booleanfields will be printed first, followed by the numeric fields, followed by thestring fields. 

Default Options

If no options are specified and zero or one termnames are specified, the-I option will be assumed. If more than one termname is specified,the -d option will be assumed. 

Comparison Options [-d] [-c] [-n]

infocmp compares the terminfo description of the first terminaltermname with each of the descriptions given by the entries for the otherterminal's termnames. If a capability is defined for only one of theterminals, the value returned will depend on the type of the capability:F for boolean variables, -1 for integer variables, and NULLfor string variables.

The -d option produces a list of each capability that is differentbetween two entries. This option is useful to show the difference between twoentries, created by different people, for the same or similar terminals.

The -c option produces a list of each capability that is common betweentwo entries. Capabilities that are not set are ignored. This option can beused as a quick check to see if the -u option is worth using.

The -n option produces a list of each capability that is in neitherentry. If no termnames are given, the environment variable TERMwill be used for both of the termnames. This can be used as a quickcheck to see if anything was left out of a description. 

Source Listing Options [-I] [-L] [-C] [-r]

The -I, -L, and -C options will produce a source listing foreach terminal named.

-Iuse the terminfo names
-Luse the long C variable name listed in <term.h>
-Cuse the termcap names
-rwhen using -C, put out all capabilities in termcap form

If no termnames are given, the environment variable TERM will beused for the terminal name.

The source produced by the -C option may be used directly as atermcap entry, but not all parameterized strings can be changed tothe termcap format. infocmp will attempt to convert most of theparameterized information, and anything not converted will be plainly marked inthe output and commented out. These should be edited by hand.

All padding information for strings will be collected together and placedat the beginning of the string where termcap expects it. Mandatorypadding (padding information with a trailing '/') will become optional.

All termcap variables no longer supported by terminfo, but whichare derivable from other terminfo variables, will be output. Not allterminfo capabilities will be translated; only those variables which werepart of termcap will normally be output. Specifying the -r optionwill take off this restriction, allowing all capabilities to be output intermcap form.

Note that because padding is collected to the beginning of the capability, notall capabilities are output. Mandatory padding is not supported. Becausetermcap strings are not as flexible, it is not always possible to converta terminfo string capability into an equivalent termcap format. Asubsequent conversion of the termcap file back into terminfo formatwill not necessarily reproduce the original terminfosource.

Some common terminfo parameter sequences, their termcapequivalents, and some terminal types which commonly have such sequences, are:

terminfotermcapRepresentative Terminals

%p1%d%dhp, ANSI standard, vt100
%i%iqANSI standard, vt100
%p2 is printed before %p1%rhp

Use= Option [-u]

The -u option produces a terminfo source description of the firstterminal termname which is relative to the sum of the descriptions givenby the entries for the other terminals termnames. It does this byanalyzing the differences between the first termname and the othertermnames and producing a description with use= fields for theother terminals. In this manner, it is possible to retrofit generic terminfoentries into a terminal's description. Or, if two similar terminals exist, butwere coded at different times or by different people so that each descriptionis a full description, using infocmp will show what can be done to changeone description to be relative to the other.

A capability will get printed with an at-sign (@) if it no longer exists in thefirst termname, but one of the other termname entries contains avalue for it. A capability's value gets printed if the value in the firsttermname is not found in any of the other termname entries, or ifthe first of the other termname entries that has this capability gives adifferent value for the capability than that in the first termname.

The order of the other termname entries is significant. Since theterminfo compiler tic does a left-to-right scan of the capabilities,specifying two use= entries that contain differing entries for the samecapabilities will produce different results depending on the order that theentries are given in. infocmp will flag any such inconsistencies betweenthe other termname entries as they are found.

Alternatively, specifying a capability after a use= entry thatcontains that capability will cause the second specification to be ignored.Using infocmp to recreate a description can be a useful check to makesure that everything was specified correctly in the original sourcedescription.

Another error that does not cause incorrect compiled files, but will slow downthe compilation time, is specifying extra use= fields that aresuperfluous. infocmp will flag any other termname use= fields thatwere not needed. 

Changing Databases [-A directory] [-B directory]

The location of the compiled terminfo database is taken from theenvironment variable TERMINFO . If the variable is not defined, or theterminal is not found in that location, the system terminfo database,in /usr/share/terminfo, will be used. The options -Aand -B may be used to override this location. The -A option willset TERMINFO for the first termname and the -B option willset TERMINFO for the other termnames. With this, it is possible tocompare descriptions for a terminal with the same name located in two differentdatabases. This is useful for comparing descriptions for the same terminalcreated by different people. 

Other Options

causes the fields to be printed out one to a line. Otherwise,the fields will be printed several to a line to a maximum widthof 60 characters.
tells infocmp to retain commented-out capabilities rather than discardingthem. Capabilities are commented by prefixing them with a period.
Dump the capabilities of the given terminal as tables, needed inthe C initializer for aTERMTYPE structure (the terminal capability structure in the <term.h>).This option is useful for preparing versions of the curses library hardwiredfor a given terminal type.The tables are all declared static, and are named according to the typeand the name of the corresponding terminal entry.

Before ncurses 5.0, the split between the -e and -E options was not needed; but support for extended names required makingthe arrays of terminal capabilities separate from the TERMTYPE structure.

Dump the capabilities of the given terminal as a C initializer for aTERMTYPE structure (the terminal capability structure in the <term.h>).This option is useful for preparing versions of the curses library hardwiredfor a given terminal type.
compare terminfo files. This assumes that two following arguments arefilenames. The files are searched for pairwise matches betweenentries, with two entries considered to match if any of their names do.The report printed to standard output lists entries with no matches inthe other file, and entries with more than one match. For entrieswith exactly one match it includes a difference report. Normally,to reduce the volume of the report, use references arenot resolved before looking for differences, but resolution can be forcedby also specifying -r.
Display complex terminfo strings which contain if/then/else/endif expressionsindented for readability.
Display constant literals in decimal formrather than their character equivalents.
Display constant character literals in quoted formrather than their decimal equivalents.
Analyze the initialization (is1, is2, is3), and reset(rs1, rs2, rs3), strings in the entry. For each string, thecode tries to analyze it into actions in terms of the other capabilities in theentry, certain X3.64/ISO 6429/ECMA-48 capabilities, and certain DEC VT-seriesprivate modes (the set of recognized special sequences has been selected forcompleteness over the existing terminfo database). Each report line consistsof the capability name, followed by a colon and space, followed by a printableexpansion of the capability string with sections matching recognized actionstranslated into {}-bracketed descriptions. Here is a list of the DEC/ANSIspecial sequences recognized:


RISfull reset
SCsave cursor
RCrestore cursor
RSRreset scroll region

ISO DEC G0enable DEC graphics for G0
ISO UK G0enable UK chars for G0
ISO US G0enable US chars for G0
ISO DEC G1enable DEC graphics for G1
ISO UK G1enable UK chars for G1
ISO US G1enable US chars for G1

DECPAMapplication keypad mode
DECPNMnormal keypad mode
DECANSIenter ANSI mode

DEC[+-]CKMapplication cursor keys
DEC[+-]ANMset VT52 mode
DEC[+-]COLM132-column mode
DEC[+-]SCLMsmooth scroll
DEC[+-]SCNMreverse video mode
DEC[+-]OMorigin mode
DEC[+-]AWMwraparound mode
DEC[+-]ARMauto-repeat mode

It also recognizes a SGR action corresponding to ANSI/ISO 6429/ECMA SetGraphics Rendition, with the values NORMAL, BOLD, UNDERLINE, BLINK, andREVERSE. All but NORMAL may be prefixed with `+' (turn on) or `-' (turn off).

An SGR0 designates an empty highlight sequence (equivalent to {SGR:NORMAL}).

SD" which selects only capabilities
with termcap equivalents recognized by 4.4BSD.
-s [d|i|l|c]
The -s option sorts the fields within each type according to the argumentbelow:
leave fields in the order that they are stored in the terminfo database.
sort by terminfo name.
sort by the long C variable name.
sort by the termcap name.
If the -s option is not given, the fields printed out will besorted alphabetically by the terminfo name within each type,except in the case of the -C or the -L options, which cause thesorting to be done by the termcap name or the long C variablename, respectively.
eliminates size-restrictions on the generated text.This is mainly useful for testing and analysis, since the compileddescriptions are limited (e.g., 1023 for termcap, 4096 for terminfo).
tells tic to discard commented-out capabilities.Normally when translating from terminfo to termcap,untranslatable capabilities are commented-out.
reports the version of ncurses which was used in this program, and exits.
-v n
prints out tracing information on standard error as the program runs.Higher values of n induce greater verbosity.
-w width
changes the output to width characters.


Compiled terminal description database.


The-E,-F,-G,-R,-T,-V,-a,-e,-f,-g,-i,-l,-p,-q and-toptions are not supported in SVr4 curses.

The -r option's notion of `termcap' capabilities is System V Release 4's.Actual BSD curses versions will have a more restricted set. To see only the4.4BSD set, use -r -RBSD. 


The -F option of infocmp(1M) should be a toe(1M) mode. 


infocmp(1M), captoinfo(1M), infotocap(1M),tic(1M), toe(1M),curses(3X), terminfo(5). 


Eric S. Raymond <>and
Thomas E. Dickey <>



Default Options
Comparison Options [-d] [-c] [-n]
Source Listing Options [-I] [-L] [-C] [-r]
Use= Option [-u]
Changing Databases [-A directory] [-B directory]
Other Options

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