infocmp 1m 2023-09-16 ncurses 6.4 User commands

infocmp(1m)                      User commands                     infocmp(1m)


       infocmp - compare or print out terminfo descriptions


       infocmp [-1CDEFGIKLTUVWcdegilnpqrtux]
             [-v n] [-s d| i| l| c] [-Q n] [-R subset]
             [-w width] [-A directory] [-B directory]


       infocmp  can  be  used  to  compare  a binary terminfo entry with other
       terminfo entries, rewrite a terminfo description to take  advantage  of
       the  use=  terminfo field, or print out a terminfo description from the
       binary file (term) in a variety of formats.  In all cases, the  boolean
       fields  will be printed first, followed by the numeric fields, followed
       by the string 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  terminal
       termname  with  each  of  the descriptions given by the entries for the
       other terminal's termnames.  If a capability is defined for only one of
       the   terminals,  the  value  returned  depends  on  the  type  of  the

       o   F for missing boolean variables

       o   NULL for missing integer or string variables

       Use the -q option to show the distinction between absent and  cancelled

       These  options  produce a list which you can use to compare two or more
       terminal descriptions:

       -d   produces a list of each capability that is different  between  two
            entries.   Each  item  in  the list shows ":" after the capability
            name, followed by the capability values, separated by a comma.

       -c   produces a list of each capability that is common between  two  or
            more entries.  Missing capabilities are ignored.  Each item in the
            list  shows  "="  after  the  capability  name,  followed  by  the
            capability value.

            The  -u  option  provides  a  related  output,  showing  the first
            terminal description rewritten to use the  second  as  a  building
            block via the "use=" clause.

       -n   produces  a  list  of each capability that is in none of the given
            entries.  Each item in the list shows "!"  before  the  capability

            Normally only the conventional capabilities are shown.  Use the -x
            option to add the BSD-compatibility capabilities  (names  prefixed
            with "OT").

            If  no  termnames are given, infocmp uses the environment variable
            TERM for each of the termnames.

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

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

            -I   use the terminfo names
            -L   use the long C variable name listed in <term.h>
            -C   use the termcap names
            -r   when using -C, put out all capabilities in termcap form
            -K   modifies the -C option, improving BSD-compatibility.

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

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

       For best results when converting to termcap format, you should use both
       -C  and  -r.   Normally a termcap description is limited to 1023 bytes.
       infocmp trims away less essential parts to make it  fit.   If  you  are
       converting to one of the (rare) termcap implementations which accept an
       unlimited size of termcap, you may want to add  the  -T  option.   More
       often  however,  you  must  help  the  termcap implementation, and trim
       excess whitespace (use the -0 option for that).

       All padding information for strings  will  be  collected  together  and
       placed  at  the  beginning  of  the  string  where  termcap expects it.
       Mandatory padding (padding information with a trailing "/") will become

       All  termcap  variables  no longer supported by terminfo, but which are
       derivable from other terminfo  variables,  will  be  output.   Not  all
       terminfo  capabilities  will  be translated; only those variables which
       were part of termcap will normally be output.  Specifying the -r option
       will  take off this restriction, allowing all capabilities to be output
       in termcap form.  Normally you would use both the -C  and  -r  options.
       The  actual  format  used  incorporates  some  improvements for escaped
       characters  from  terminfo  format.   For  a  stricter   BSD-compatible
       translation, use the -K option rather than -C.

       Note  that  because  padding  is  collected  to  the  beginning  of the
       capability, not all capabilities are output.  Mandatory padding is  not
       supported.   Because  termcap  strings  are  not as flexible, it is not
       always possible  to  convert  a  terminfo  string  capability  into  an
       equivalent termcap format.  A subsequent conversion of the termcap file
       back into terminfo format will not necessarily reproduce  the  original
       terminfo source.

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

           terminfo                    termcap   Representative Terminals
           %p1%c                       %.        adm
           %p1%d                       %d        hp, ANSI standard, vt100
           %p1%'x'%+%c                 %+x       concept
           %i                          %iq       ANSI standard, vt100
           %p1%?%'x'%>%t%p1%'y'%+%;    %>xy      concept
           %p2 is printed before %p1   %r        hp

Use= Option [-u]

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

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

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

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

       Another  error  that  does not cause incorrect compiled files, but will
       slow down the compilation time, is specifying extra  use=  fields  that
       are superfluous.  infocmp will flag any other termname use= fields that
       were not needed.

   Changing Databases [-A directory] [-B directory]
       Like  other  ncurses  utilities,  infocmp  looks   for   the   terminal
       descriptions   in  several  places.   You  can  use  the  TERMINFO  and
       TERMINFO_DIRS environment variables to override the compiled-in default
       list  of  places  to  search.   See curses(3x), as well as the Fetching
       Compiled Descriptions section in terminfo(5).

       You can also use the options -A and -B to override the list  of  places
       to search when comparing terminal descriptions:

       o   The -A option sets the location for the first termname

       o   The -B option sets the location for the other termnames.

       Using  these  options,  it  is  possible  to compare descriptions for a
       terminal with the same name located in two  different  databases.   For
       instance,  you  can use this feature for comparing descriptions for the
       same terminal created by different people.

Other Options

       -0   causes the fields to be printed on one line, without wrapping.

       -1   causes the fields to be printed out one to a line.  Otherwise, the
            fields  will be printed several to a line to a maximum width of 60

       -a   tells infocmp to retain  commented-out  capabilities  rather  than
            discarding  them.   Capabilities  are  commented by prefixing them
            with a period.

       -D   tells infocmp to print the database locations that it knows about,
            and exit.

       -E   Dump  the  capabilities of the given terminal as tables, needed in
            the  C  initializer  for  a  TERMTYPE  structure   (the   terminal
            capability  structure in the <term.h>).  This option is useful for
            preparing versions of the curses library  hardwired  for  a  given
            terminal  type.  The tables are all declared static, and are named
            according to the type and the name of the  corresponding  terminal

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

       -e   Dump the capabilities of the given terminal as a C initializer for
            a  TERMTYPE  structure  (the  terminal capability structure in the
            <term.h>).  This option is useful for preparing  versions  of  the
            curses library hardwired for a given terminal type.

       -F   compare terminfo files.  This assumes that two following arguments
            are filenames.   The  files  are  searched  for  pairwise  matches
            between  entries,  with  two entries considered to match if any of
            their names do.  The  report  printed  to  standard  output  lists
            entries  with  no matches in the other file, and entries with more
            than one match.  For entries with exactly one match it includes  a
            difference  report.  Normally, to reduce the volume of the report,
            use references are not resolved before  looking  for  differences,
            but resolution can be forced by also specifying -r.

       -f   Display  complex terminfo strings which contain if/then/else/endif
            expressions indented for readability.

       -G   Display constant  literals  in  decimal  form  rather  than  their
            character equivalents.

       -g   Display  constant  character  literals  in quoted form rather than
            their decimal equivalents.

       -i   Analyze the initialization (is1, is2, is3), and reset  (rs1,  rs2,
            rs3),   strings   in   the  entry,  as  well  as  those  used  for
            starting/stopping cursor-positioning mode (smcup, rmcup)  as  well
            as starting/stopping keymap mode (smkx, rmkx).

            For  each  string,  the  code  tries to analyze it into actions in
            terms of the other capabilities in the  entry,  certain  X3.64/ISO
            6429/ECMA-48 capabilities, and certain DEC VT-series private modes
            (the set of recognized special sequences  has  been  selected  for
            completeness  over  the  existing terminfo database).  Each report
            line consists of the capability name,  followed  by  a  colon  and
            space,  followed by a printable expansion of the capability string
            with  sections  matching  recognized   actions   translated   into
            {}-bracketed descriptions.

            Here is a list of the DEC/ANSI special sequences recognized:

                      Action        Meaning
                      RIS           full reset
                      SC            save cursor
                      RC            restore cursor
                      LL            home-down
                      RSR           reset scroll region
                      DECSTR        soft reset (VT320)

                      S7C1T         7-bit controls (VT220)
                      ISO DEC G0    enable DEC graphics for G0
                      ISO UK G0     enable UK chars for G0
                      ISO US G0     enable US chars for G0
                      ISO DEC G1    enable DEC graphics for G1
                      ISO UK G1     enable UK chars for G1
                      ISO US G1     enable US chars for G1
                      DECPAM        application keypad mode
                      DECPNM        normal keypad mode
                      DECANSI       enter ANSI mode
                      ECMA[+-]AM    keyboard action mode
                      ECMA[+-]IRM   insert replace mode
                      ECMA[+-]SRM   send receive mode
                      ECMA[+-]LNM   linefeed mode
                      DEC[+-]CKM    application cursor keys
                      DEC[+-]ANM    set VT52 mode
                      DEC[+-]COLM   132-column mode
                      DEC[+-]SCLM   smooth scroll
                      DEC[+-]SCNM   reverse video mode
                      DEC[+-]OM     origin mode
                      DEC[+-]AWM    wraparound mode
                      DEC[+-]ARM    auto-repeat mode

       It also recognizes a SGR action corresponding to ANSI/ISO 6429/ECMA Set
       Graphics Rendition, with the values NORMAL, BOLD, UNDERLINE, BLINK, and
       REVERSE.  All but NORMAL may be prefixed with

              o   "+" (turn on) or

              o   "-" (turn off).

              An  SGR0  designates  an empty highlight sequence (equivalent to

       -l   Set output format to terminfo.

       -p   Ignore padding specifications when comparing strings.

       -Q n Rather than show source  in  terminfo  (text)  format,  print  the
            compiled  (binary) format in hexadecimal or base64 form, depending
            on the option's value:

               1  hexadecimal

               2  base64

               3  hexadecimal and base64

            For example, this prints the compiled terminfo value as  a  string
            which could be assigned to the TERMINFO environment variable:

                infocmp -0 -q -Q2

       -q   This makes the output a little shorter:

            o   Make  the  comparison listing shorter by omitting subheadings,
                and using "-" for absent capabilities, "@" for canceled rather
                than "NULL".

            o   However,   show   differences  between  absent  and  cancelled

            o   Omit the "Reconstructed from" comment for source listings.

            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
            variants  such  as AIX that have their own extensions incompatible
            with SVr4/XSI.

            o   Available terminfo subsets are  "SVr1",  "Ultrix",  "HP",  and
                "AIX"; see terminfo(5) for details.

            o   You  can  also  choose  the  subset  "BSD"  which selects only
                capabilities with termcap equivalents recognized by 4.4BSD.

            o   If you select any other value for -R, it is  the  same  as  no
                subset, i.e., all capabilities are used.

            A  few  options  override the subset selected with -R, if they are
            processed later in the command parameters:

            -C   sets the "BSD" subset as a side-effect.

            -I   sets the subset to all capabilities.

            -r   sets the subset to all capabilities.

       -s [d|i|l|c]
            The -s option sorts the fields within each type according  to  the
            argument below:

            d    leave  fields  in  the  order  that  they  are  stored in the
                 terminfo database.

            i    sort by terminfo name.

            l    sort by the long C variable name.

            c    sort by the termcap name.

            If the -s option is not given, the  fields  printed  out  will  be
            sorted  alphabetically  by  the  terminfo  name  within each type,
            except in the case of the -C or the -L options,  which  cause  the
            sorting  to  be  done  by  the termcap name or the long C variable
            name, respectively.

       -T   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

       -t   tells  tic  to  discard commented-out capabilities.  Normally when
            translating from terminfo to termcap, untranslatable  capabilities
            are commented-out.

       -U   tells  infocmp  to  not  post-process  the  data after parsing the
            source  file.   This  feature  helps  when  comparing  the  actual
            contents  of  two  source  files, since it excludes the inferences
            that infocmp makes to fill in missing data.

       -V   reports the version of ncurses which was used in this program, and

       -v n prints  out  tracing  information on standard error as the program

            The optional parameter n is a number  from  1  to  10,  inclusive,
            indicating the desired level of detail of information.  If ncurses
            is built  without  tracing  support,  the  optional  parameter  is

       -W   By  itself,  the  -w  option  will  not  force  long strings to be
            wrapped.  Use the -W option to do this.

       -w width
            changes the output to width characters.

       -x   print information for user-defined capabilities (see user_caps(5).
            These  are  extensions  to  the  terminfo  repertoire which can be
            loaded using the -x option of tic.


       /usr/share/terminfo Compiled terminal description database.


       Although System V Release 2 provided a  terminfo  library,  it  had  no
       documented tool for decompiling the terminal descriptions.  Tony Hansen
       (AT&T) wrote the first infocmp in early 1984, for System V Release 3.

       Eric Raymond  used  the  AT&T  documentation  in  1995  to  provide  an
       equivalent  infocmp  for  ncurses.   In  addition,  he  added a few new
       features such as:

       o   the  -e  option,  to  support   fallback   (compiled-in)   terminal

       o   the -i option, to help with analysis

       Later,  Thomas  Dickey added the -x (user-defined capabilities) option,
       and the  -E  option  to  support  fallback  entries  with  user-defined

       For a complete list, see the EXTENSIONS section.

       In  2010,  Roy  Marples  provided an infocmp program for NetBSD.  It is
       less capable than the SVr4 or ncurses  versions  (e.g.,  it  lacks  the
       sorting  options  documented in X/Open), but does include the -x option
       adapted from ncurses.


       X/Open Curses, Issue 7 (2009) provides a description  of  infocmp.   It
       does not mention the options used for converting to termcap format.


       The  -0, -1, -E, -F, -G, -Q, -R, -T, -V, -a, -e, -f, -g, -i, -l, -p, -q
       and -t options are not supported in SVr4 curses.

       SVr4  infocmp  does  not  distinguish  between  absent  and   cancelled
       capabilities.   Also,  it shows missing integer capabilities as -1 (the
       internal   value   used   to   represent   missing   integers).    This
       implementation  shows  those  as  "NULL",  for consistency with missing

       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 the 4.4BSD set, use -r -RBSD.


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


       captoinfo(1m),    infotocap(1m),    tic(1m),    toe(1m),    curses(3x),
       terminfo(5).  user_caps(5).

       This describes ncurses version 6.4 (patch 20230917).


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

ncurses 6.4                       2023-09-16                       infocmp(1m)