- the terminfo
] [ -e names
] [ -o
] [ -R subset
] [ -v
command translates a terminfo
file from source format into
compiled format. The compiled format is necessary for use with the library
routines in ncurses
As described in term
(5), the database may be either a directory tree (one
file per terminal entry) or a hashed database (one record per entry). The
command writes only one type of entry, depending on how it was
- For directory trees, the top-level directory, e.g., /usr/share/terminfo,
specifies the location of the database.
- For hashed databases, a filename is needed. If the given file is not found
by that name, but can be found by adding the suffix ".db", then
that is used.
- The default name for the hashed database is the same as the default
directory name (only adding a ".db" suffix).
In either case (directory or hashed database), tic
will create the
container if it does not exist. For a directory, this would be the
"terminfo" leaf, versus a "terminfo.db" file.
The results are normally placed in the system terminfo database
. The compiled terminal description can be placed in
a different terminfo database. There are two ways to achieve this:
- First, you may override the system default either by using the -o
option, or by setting the variable TERMINFO in your shell
environment to a valid database location.
- Secondly, if tic cannot write in /usr/share/terminfo or the
location specified using your TERMINFO variable, it looks for the
directory $HOME/.terminfo (or hashed database
$HOME/.terminfo.db); if that location exists, the entry is placed
Libraries that read terminfo entries are expected to check in succession
- a location specified with the TERMINFO environment variable,
- directories listed in the TERMINFO_DIRS environment variable,
- a compiled-in list of directories (no default value), and
- the system terminfo database (/usr/share/terminfo).
- restricts the output to a single line
- restricts the output to a single column
- tells tic to retain commented-out capabilities rather than
discarding them. Capabilities are commented by prefixing them with a
period. This sets the -x option, because it treats the
commented-out entries as user-defined names. If the source is termcap,
accept the 2-character names required by version 6. Otherwise these are
- Force source translation to termcap format. Note: this differs from the
-C option of infocmp(1M) in that it does not merely
translate capability names, but also translates terminfo strings to
termcap format. Capabilities that are not translatable are left in the
entry under their terminfo names but commented out with two preceding
dots. The actual format used incorporates some improvements for escaped
characters from terminfo format. For a stricter BSD-compatible
translation, add the -K option.
- tells tic to only check file for errors, including syntax
problems and bad use links. If you specify -C (-I) with this
option, the code will print warnings about entries which, after use
resolution, are more than 1023 (4096) bytes long. Due to a fixed buffer
length in older termcap libraries, as well as buggy checking for the
buffer length (and a documented limit in terminfo), these entries may
cause core dumps with other implementations.
- tells tic to print the database locations that it knows about, and
exit. The first location shown is the one to which it would write compiled
terminal descriptions. If tic is not able to find a writable
database location according to the rules summarized above, it will print a
diagnostic and exit with an error rather than printing a list of database
- -e names
- Limit writes and translations to the following comma-separated list of
terminals. If any name or alias of a terminal matches one of the names in
the list, the entry will be written or translated as normal. Otherwise no
output will be generated for it. The option value is interpreted as a file
containing the list if it contains a '/'. (Note: depending on how tic was
compiled, this option may require -I or -C.)
- Display complex terminfo strings which contain if/then/else/endif
expressions indented for readability.
- Display constant literals in decimal form rather than their character
- Display constant character literals in quoted form rather than their
- Force source translation to terminfo format.
- Suppress some longstanding ncurses extensions to termcap format, e.g.,
"\s" for space.
- Force source translation to terminfo format using the long C variable
names listed in < term.h>
- Disable smart defaults. Normally, when translating from termcap to
terminfo, the compiler makes a number of assumptions about the defaults of
string capabilities reset1_string, carriage_return,
cursor_left, cursor_down, scroll_forward, tab,
newline, key_backspace, key_left, and
key_down, then attempts to use obsolete termcap capabilities to
deduce correct values. It also normally suppresses output of obsolete
termcap capabilities such as bs. This option forces a more literal
translation that also preserves the obsolete capabilities.
- Write compiled entries to given database location. Overrides the TERMINFO
- Restrict output to a given subset. This option is for use with archaic
versions of terminfo like those on SVr1, Ultrix, or HP/UX that do not
support the full set of SVR4/XSI Curses terminfo; and outright broken
ports like AIX 3.x that have their own extensions incompatible with
SVr4/XSI. Available subsets are "SVr1", "Ultrix",
"HP", "BSD" and "AIX"; see
terminfo(5) for details.
- Force entry resolution (so there are no remaining tc capabilities) even
when doing translation to termcap format. This may be needed if you are
preparing a termcap file for a termcap library (such as GNU termcap
through version 1.3 or BSD termcap through 4.3BSD) that does not handle
multiple tc capabilities per entry.
- Summarize the compile by showing the database location into which entries
are written, and the number of entries which are compiled.
- eliminates size-restrictions on the generated text. This is mainly useful
for testing and analysis, since the compiled descriptions 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
- tells tic to not post-process the data after parsing the source
file. Normally, it infers data which is commonly missing in older terminfo
data, or in termcaps.
- reports the version of ncurses which was used in this program, and
- specifies that (verbose) output be written to standard error trace
information showing tic's progress. The optional parameter n
is a number from 1 to 10, inclusive, indicating the desired level of
detail of information. If n is omitted, the default level is 1. If
n is specified and greater than 1, the level of detail is
The debug flag levels are as follows:
- Names of files created and linked
- Information related to the ``use'' facility
- Statistics from the hashing algorithm
- String-table memory allocations
- Entries into the string-table
- List of tokens encountered by scanner
- All values computed in construction of the hash table
If the debug level n
is not given, it is taken to be one.
- specifies the width of the output. The parameter is optional. If it is
omitted, it defaults to 60.
- Treat unknown capabilities as user-defined. That is, if you supply a
capability name which tic does not recognize, it will infer its
type (boolean, number or string) from the syntax and make an extended
table entry for that. User-defined capability strings whose name begins
with ``k'' are treated as function keys.
- contains one or more terminfo terminal descriptions in source
format [see terminfo(5)]. Each description in the file describes
the capabilities of a particular terminal.
- If file is ``-'', then the data is read from the standard input.
The file parameter may also be the path of a character-device.
All but one of the capabilities recognized by tic
are documented in
(5). The exception is the use
When a use
field is discovered in a terminal
entry currently being compiled, tic
reads in the binary from
to complete the entry. (Entries created from
will be used first. tic
duplicates the capabilities in
for the current entry, with the exception of those
capabilities that explicitly are defined in the current entry.
When an entry, e.g., entry_name_1
, contains a
field, any canceled capabilities
must also appear in entry_name_1
for these capabilities to be canceled in
Total compiled entries cannot exceed 4096 bytes. The name field cannot exceed
512 bytes. Terminal names exceeding the maximum alias length (32 characters on
systems with long filenames, 14 characters otherwise) will be truncated to the
maximum alias length and a warning message will be printed.
There is some evidence that historic tic
description fields with no whitespace in them as additional aliases or short
names. This tic
does not do that, but it does warn when description
fields may be treated that way and check them for dangerous characters.
Unlike the SVr4 tic
command, this implementation can actually compile
termcap sources. In fact, entries in terminfo and termcap syntax can be mixed
in a single source file. See terminfo
(5) for the list of termcap names
taken to be equivalent to terminfo names.
The SVr4 manual pages are not clear on the resolution rules for use
capabilities. This implementation of tic
will find use
anywhere in the source file, or anywhere in the file tree rooted at
is defined), or in the user's
database (if it exists), or (finally) anywhere in the
system's file tree of compiled entries.
The error messages from this tic
have the same format as GNU C error
messages, and can be parsed by GNU Emacs's compile facility.
options are not supported under
SVr4. The SVr4 -c
mode does not report bad use links.
System V does not compile entries to or read entries from your
database unless TERMINFO is explicitly set to it.
- Compiled terminal description database.
This describes ncurses
version 5.9 (patch 20130511).
Eric S. Raymond <email@example.com> and
Thomas E. Dickey <firstname.lastname@example.org>