path: root/man/term.5
diff options
Diffstat (limited to 'man/term.5')
1 files changed, 132 insertions, 31 deletions
diff --git a/man/term.5 b/man/term.5
index a8055e9a63aa..b876fea1b2ce 100644
--- a/man/term.5
+++ b/man/term.5
@@ -1,5 +1,5 @@
-.\" Copyright (c) 1998-2006,2010 Free Software Foundation, Inc. *
+.\" Copyright (c) 1998-2018,2019 Free Software Foundation, Inc. *
.\" *
.\" Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a *
.\" copy of this software and associated documentation files (the *
@@ -26,8 +26,30 @@
.\" authorization. *
-.\" $Id: term.5,v 1.21 2010/12/04 18:40:45 tom Exp $
+.\" $Id: term.5,v 1.32 2019/01/12 23:11:08 tom Exp $
.TH term 5
+.ie \n(.g .ds `` \(lq
+.el .ds `` ``
+.ie \n(.g .ds '' \(rq
+.el .ds '' ''
+.de NS
+.ie n .sp
+.el .sp .5
+.ie n .in +4
+.el .in +2
+.ft C \" Courier
+.de NE
+.ft R
+.ie n .in -4
+.el .in -2
+.de bP
+.ie n .IP \(bu 4
+.el .IP \(bu 2
.ds n 5
.ds d @TERMINFO@
@@ -37,7 +59,7 @@ term \- format of compiled term file.
Compiled terminfo descriptions are placed under the directory \fB\*d\fP.
-Two configurations are supported (when building the ncurses libraries):
+Two configurations are supported (when building the \fBncurses\fP libraries):
.TP 5
.B directory tree
A two-level scheme is used to avoid a linear search
@@ -60,23 +82,21 @@ the terminfo's primary name as a key,
and records containing only aliases pointing to the primary name.
If built to write hashed databases,
-ncurses can still read terminfo databases organized as a directory tree,
+\fBncurses\fP can still read terminfo databases organized as a directory tree,
but cannot write entries into the directory tree.
It can write (or rewrite) entries in the hashed database.
-ncurses distinguishes the two cases in the TERMINFO and TERMINFO_DIRS
+\fBncurses\fP distinguishes the two cases in the TERMINFO and TERMINFO_DIRS
environment variable by assuming a directory tree for entries that
correspond to an existing directory,
and hashed database otherwise.
The format has been chosen so that it will be the same on all hardware.
An 8 or more bit byte is assumed, but no assumptions about byte ordering
or sign extension are made.
-The compiled file is created with the
-.B @TIC@
-program, and read by the routine
-.IR setupterm .
+The compiled file is created with the \fB@TIC@\fP program,
+and read by the routine \fBsetupterm\fP(3X).
The file is divided into six parts:
the header,
terminal names,
@@ -110,7 +130,8 @@ The first byte contains the least significant 8 bits of the value,
and the second byte contains the most significant 8 bits.
(Thus, the value represented is 256*second+first.)
The value \-1 is represented by the two bytes 0377, 0377; other negative
-values are illegal. This value generally
+values are illegal.
+This value generally
means that the corresponding capability is missing from this terminal.
Note that this format corresponds to the hardware of the \s-1VAX\s+1
and \s-1PDP\s+1-11 (that is, little-endian machines).
@@ -120,7 +141,7 @@ integers as two bytes and compute the little-endian value.
The terminal names section comes next.
It contains the first line of the terminfo description,
listing the various names for the terminal,
-separated by the `|' character.
+separated by the \*(``|\*('' character.
The section is terminated with an \s-1ASCII NUL\s+1 character.
The boolean flags have one byte for each flag.
@@ -160,12 +181,15 @@ With some minor variations of the offsets (see PORTABILITY),
the same binary format is used in all modern UNIX systems.
Each system uses a predefined set of boolean, number or string capabilities.
-The ncurses libraries and applications support extended terminfo binary format,
-allowing users to define capabilities which are loaded at runtime. This
+The \fBncurses\fP libraries and applications support
+extended terminfo binary format,
+allowing users to define capabilities which are loaded at runtime.
extension is made possible by using the fact that the other implementations
stop reading the terminfo data when they have reached the end of the size given
in the header.
-ncurses checks the size, and if it exceeds that due to the predefined data,
+\fBncurses\fP checks the size,
+and if it exceeds that due to the predefined data,
continues to parse according to its own scheme.
First, it reads the extended header (5 short integers):
@@ -181,59 +205,127 @@ count of extended numeric capabilities
count of extended string capabilities
.TP 5
-size of the extended string table in bytes.
+count of the items in extended string table
.TP 5
-last offset of the extended string table in bytes.
+size of the extended string table in bytes
-Using the counts and sizes, ncurses allocates arrays and reads data
-for the extended capabilties in the same order as the header information.
+The count- and size-values for the extended string table
+include the extended capability \fInames\fP as well as
+extended capability \fIvalues\fP.
+Using the counts and sizes, \fBncurses\fP allocates arrays and reads data
+for the extended capabilities in the same order as the header information.
The extended string table contains values for string capabilities.
After the end of these values, it contains the names for each of
the extended capabilities in order, e.g., booleans, then numbers and
finally strings.
+Applications which manipulate terminal data can use the definitions
+described in \fBterm_variables\fP(3X) which associate the long capability
+names with members of a \fBTERMTYPE\fP structure.
+On occasion, 16-bit signed integers are not large enough.
+With \fBncurses\fP 6.1, a new format was introduced by making a few changes
+to the legacy format:
+a different magic number (octal 01036)
+changing the type for the \fInumber\fP array from signed 16-bit integers
+to signed 32-bit integers.
+To maintain compatibility, the library presents the same data structures
+to direct users of the \fBTERMTYPE\fP structure as in previous formats.
+However, that cannot provide callers with the extended numbers.
+The library uses a similar but hidden data structure \fBTERMTYPE2\fP
+to provide data for the terminfo functions.
+.SS setupterm
Note that it is possible for
-.I setupterm
+.B setupterm
to expect a different set of capabilities
than are actually present in the file.
Either the database may have been updated since
-.I setupterm
+.B setupterm
has been recompiled
(resulting in extra unrecognized entries in the file)
or the program may have been recompiled more recently
than the database was updated
(resulting in missing entries).
The routine
-.I setupterm
+.B setupterm
must be prepared for both possibilities \-
this is why the numbers and sizes are included.
Also, new capabilities must always be added at the end of the lists
of boolean, number, and string capabilities.
+.SS Binary format
+X/Open Curses does not specify a format for the terminfo database.
+UNIX System V curses used a directory-tree of binary files,
+one per terminal description.
Despite the consistent use of little-endian for numbers and the otherwise
self-describing format, it is not wise to count on portability of binary
-terminfo entries between commercial UNIX versions. The problem is that there
+terminfo entries between commercial UNIX versions.
+The problem is that there
are at least three versions of terminfo (under HP\-UX, AIX, and OSF/1) which
diverged from System V terminfo after SVr1, and have added extension
capabilities to the string table that (in the binary format) collide with
-System V and XSI Curses extensions. See \fBterminfo\fR(\*n) for detailed
+System V and XSI Curses extensions.
+See \fBterminfo\fR(\*n) for detailed
discussion of terminfo source compatibility issues.
+This implementation is by default compatible with the binary
+terminfo format used by Solaris curses,
+except in a few less-used details
+where it was found that the latter did not match X/Open Curses.
+The format used by the other Unix versions
+can be matched by building ncurses
+with different configuration options.
+.SS Magic codes
+The magic number in a binary terminfo file is the first 16-bits (two bytes).
+Besides making it more reliable for the library to check that a file
+is terminfo,
+utilities such as \fBfile\fP also use that to tell what the file-format is.
+System V defined more than one magic number,
+with 0433, 0435 as screen-dumps (see \fBscr_dump\fP(5)).
+This implementation uses 01036 as a continuation of that sequence,
+but with a different high-order byte to avoid confusion.
+.SS The TERMTYPE structure
+Direct access to the \fBTERMTYPE\fP structure is provided for legacy
+Portable applications should use the \fBtigetflag\fP and related functions
+described in \fBcurs_terminfo\fP(3X) for reading terminal capabilities.
+.SS Mixed-case terminal names
+A small number of terminal descriptions use uppercase characters in
+their names.
+If the underlying filesystem ignores the difference between
+uppercase and lowercase,
+\fBncurses\fP represents the \*(``first character\*(''
+of the terminal name used as
+the intermediate level of a directory tree in (two-character) hexadecimal form.
-As an example, here is a hex dump of the description for the Lear-Siegler
+As an example, here is a description for the Lear-Siegler
ADM\-3, a popular though rather stupid early terminal:
adm3a|lsi adm3a,
cols#80, lines#24,
bel=^G, clear=\032$<1>, cr=^M, cub1=^H, cud1=^J,
cuf1=^L, cup=\\E=%p1%{32}%+%c%p2%{32}%+%c, cuu1=^K,
home=^^, ind=^J,
+and a hexadecimal dump of the compiled terminal description:
.ft CW
\s-20000 1a 01 10 00 02 00 03 00 82 00 31 00 61 64 6d 33 ........ ..1.adm3
0010 61 7c 6c 73 69 20 61 64 6d 33 61 00 00 01 50 00 a|lsi ad m3a...P.
@@ -258,11 +350,16 @@ adm3a|lsi adm3a,
0140 25 70 32 25 7b 33 32 7d 25 2b 25 63 00 0a 00 1e %p2%{32} %+%c....
0150 00 08 00 0c 00 0b 00 0a 00 ........ .\s+2
.ft R
-Some limitations: total compiled entries cannot exceed 4096 bytes.
-The name field cannot exceed 128 bytes.
+Some limitations:
+total compiled entries cannot exceed 4096 bytes in the legacy format.
+total compiled entries cannot exceed 32768 bytes in the extended format.
+the name field cannot exceed 128 bytes.
\*d/*/* compiled terminal capability data base
@@ -273,5 +370,9 @@ Thomas E. Dickey
extended terminfo format for ncurses 5.0
hashed database support for ncurses 5.6
+extended number support for ncurses 6.1
Eric S. Raymond
+documented legacy terminfo format, e.g., from pcurses.