tput 1 2023-12-02 ncurses 6.4 User commands

tput(1)                          User commands                         tput(1)


       tput, reset - initialize a terminal or query terminfo database


       tput [-T terminal-type] capname [parameters]
       tput [-T terminal-type] [-x] clear
       tput [-T terminal-type] init
       tput [-T terminal-type] reset
       tput [-T terminal-type] longname
       tput -S  <<
       tput -V


       The  tput  utility  uses  the  terminfo  database to make the values of
       terminal-dependent capabilities and information available to the  shell
       (see  sh(1)),  to  initialize or reset the terminal, or return the long
       name of the requested terminal  type.   The  result  depends  upon  the
       capability's type:

               tput  writes  the  string  to the standard output.  No trailing
               newline is supplied.

               tput writes the decimal value to the standard  output,  with  a
               trailing newline.

               tput  simply sets the exit code (0 for TRUE if the terminal has
               the capability, 1 for FALSE if it does not), and writes nothing
               to the standard output.

       Before  using  a value returned on the standard output, the application
       should test the exit code (e.g., $?, see sh(1)) to be  sure  it  is  0.
       (See the EXIT STATUS and DIAGNOSTICS sections.)  For a complete list of
       capabilities and the capname associated with each, see terminfo(5).


       -S     allows more than one capability per  invocation  of  tput.   The
              capabilities  must  be  passed  to  tput from the standard input
              instead of from  the  command  line  (see  example).   Only  one
              capname  is allowed per line.  The -S option changes the meaning
              of the 0 and 1 boolean and  string  exit  codes  (see  the  EXIT
              STATUS section).

              Because  some capabilities may use string parameters rather than
              numbers, tput uses a table and the presence of parameters in its
              input  to  decide whether to use tparm(3x), and how to interpret
              the parameters.

       -Ttype indicates  the  type  of  terminal.   Normally  this  option  is
              unnecessary,  because  the default is taken from the environment
              variable TERM.  If -T is specified,  then  the  shell  variables
              LINES and COLUMNS will also be ignored.

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

       -x     prevents tput from attempting to clear the scrollback buffer.


       A few commands (init, reset and longname) are special; they are defined
       by the tput program.  The others are the names of capabilities from the
       terminal database (see terminfo(5) for  a  list).   Although  init  and
       reset  resemble  capability  names,  tput  uses several capabilities to
       perform these special functions.

              indicates the capability from the terminal database.

              If the  capability  is  a  string  that  takes  parameters,  the
              arguments  following  the  capability will be used as parameters
              for the string.

              Most parameters are numbers.  Only a few  terminal  capabilities
              require  string parameters; tput uses a table to decide which to
              pass as strings.  Normally tput uses tparm(3x)  to  perform  the
              substitution.   If  no  parameters are given for the capability,
              tput writes the string without performing the substitution.

       init   If the terminal database is present and an entry for the  user's
              terminal exists (see -Ttype, above), the following will occur:

              (1)  first,  tput  retrieves  the current terminal mode settings
                   for your terminal.  It does this by successively testing

                   o   the standard error,

                   o   standard output,

                   o   standard input and

                   o   ultimately "/dev/tty"

                   to  obtain  terminal  settings.   Having  retrieved   these
                   settings,  tput remembers which file descriptor to use when
                   updating settings.

              (2)  if the window size cannot be obtained  from  the  operating
                   system, but the terminal description (or environment, e.g.,
                   LINES and  COLUMNS  variables  specify  this),  update  the
                   operating system's notion of the window size.

              (3)  the terminal modes will be updated:

                   o   any  delays (e.g., newline) specified in the entry will
                       be set in the tty driver,

                   o   tabs expansion will be turned on or  off  according  to
                       the specification in the entry, and

                   o   if  tabs  are  not  expanded, standard tabs will be set
                       (every 8 spaces).

              (4)  if present, the terminal's initialization strings  will  be
                   output  as  detailed in the terminfo(5) section on Tabs and

              (5)  output is flushed.

              If an entry does not contain the information needed for  any  of
              these activities, that activity will silently be skipped.

       reset  This is similar to init, with two differences:

              (1)  before any other initialization, the terminal modes will be
                   reset to a "sane" state:

                   o   set cooked and echo modes,

                   o   turn off cbreak and raw modes,

                   o   turn on newline translation and

                   o   reset any unset special  characters  to  their  default

              (2)  Instead   of   putting   out  initialization  strings,  the
                   terminal's reset strings will be output  if  present  (rs1,
                   rs2,  rs3,  rf).  If the reset strings are not present, but
                   initialization strings are, the initialization strings will
                   be output.

              Otherwise, reset acts identically to init.

              If  the terminal database is present and an entry for the user's
              terminal exists (see -Ttype above), then the long  name  of  the
              terminal will be put out.  The long name is the last name in the
              first  line  of  the  terminal's  description  in  the  terminfo
              database [see term(5)].


       tput  handles  the  clear, init and reset commands specially: it allows
       for the possibility that it is invoked by a link with those names.

       If tput is invoked by a link named reset, this has the same  effect  as
       tput  reset.   The  tset(1)  utility  also  treats  a  link named reset

       Before ncurses 6.1, the two utilities were different from each other:

       o   tset utility reset the terminal modes and special  characters  (not
           done with tput).

       o   On  the  other hand, tset's repertoire of terminal capabilities for
           resetting the terminal was more limited, i.e., only  reset_1string,
           reset_2string  and  reset_file  in  contrast  to  the tab-stops and
           margins which are set by this utility.

       o   The reset program is usually an alias for  tset,  because  of  this
           difference with resetting terminal modes and special characters.

       With  the  changes  made  for ncurses 6.1, the reset feature of the two
       programs is (mostly) the same.  A few differences remain:

       o   The tset program waits  one  second  when  resetting,  in  case  it
           happens to be a hardware terminal.

       o   The  two  programs  write  the  terminal  initialization strings to
           different streams (i.e.,  the  standard  error  for  tset  and  the
           standard output for tput).

           Note:   although   these   programs  write  to  different  streams,
           redirecting their output to a file will capture only part of  their
           actions.   The  changes  to  the terminal modes are not affected by
           redirecting the output.

       If tput is invoked by a link named init, this has the  same  effect  as
       tput init.  Again, you are less likely to use that link because another
       program named init has a more well-established use.

Terminal Size

       Besides  the  special  commands  (e.g.,  clear),  tput  treats  certain
       terminfo   capabilities   specially:   lines   and  cols.   tput  calls
       setupterm(3x) to obtain the terminal size:

       o   first, it gets the size from the terminal database (which generally
           is  not  provided  for terminal emulators which do not have a fixed
           window size)

       o   then it asks the operating system for the  terminal's  size  (which
           generally works, unless connecting via a serial line which does not
           support NAWS: negotiations about window size).

       o   finally, it inspects the environment variables  LINES  and  COLUMNS
           which may override the terminal size.

       If  the  -T  option  is given tput ignores the environment variables by
       calling  use_tioctl(TRUE),  relying  upon  the  operating  system   (or
       finally, the terminal database).


       If the -S option is used, tput checks for errors from each line, and if
       any errors are found, will set the exit code to 4 plus  the  number  of
       lines  with  errors.   If  no errors are found, the exit code is 0.  No
       indication of which line failed can be given so exit code 1 will  never
       appear.   Exit codes 2, 3, and 4 retain their usual interpretation.  If
       the -S option is not used,  the  exit  code  depends  on  the  type  of

                 a value of 0 is set for TRUE and 1 for FALSE.

          string a  value  of  0  is  set  if  the capname is defined for this
                 terminal type (the value of capname is returned  on  standard
                 output);  a  value  of 1 is set if capname is not defined for
                 this terminal type (nothing is written to standard output).

                 a value of 0 is always set, whether or not capname is defined
                 for  this  terminal type.  To determine if capname is defined
                 for this terminal type, the user must test the value  written
                 to  standard output.  A value of -1 means that capname is not
                 defined for this terminal type.

          other  reset or init may fail to find their  respective  files.   In
                 that case, the exit code is set to 4 + errno.

       Any other exit code indicates an error; see the DIAGNOSTICS section.


       tput  prints  the  following  error messages and sets the corresponding
       exit codes.

       exit code   error message
       0           (capname is a numeric variable that is not  specified  in
                   the  terminfo(5)  database  for  this terminal type, e.g.
                   tput -T450 lines and tput -Thp2621 xmc)
       1           no error message is printed, see the EXIT STATUS section.
       2           usage error
       3           unknown terminal type or no terminfo database
       4           unknown terminfo capability capname
       >4          error occurred in -S


              tab stop initialization database

              compiled terminal description database


       This implementation of tput differs from AT&T  tput  in  two  important

       o   tput  capname  writes  to  the standard output.  That need not be a
           regular  terminal.   However,  the  subcommands  which   manipulate
           terminal modes may not use the standard output.

           The  AT&T  implementation's  init  and  reset  commands use the BSD
           (4.1c)  tset  source,  which  manipulates   terminal   modes.    It
           successively  tries standard output, standard error, standard input
           before falling back to "/dev/tty" and finally just assumes a 1200Bd
           terminal.  When updating terminal modes, it ignores errors.

           Until  changes made after ncurses 6.0, tput did not modify terminal
           modes.  tput now uses a similar scheme, using functions shared with
           tset  (and ultimately based on the 4.4BSD tset).  If it is not able
           to open a terminal, e.g., when running in cron(1), tput will return
           an error.

       o   AT&T tput guesses the type of its capname operands by seeing if all
           of the characters are numeric, or not.

           Most implementations which provide support for capname operands use
           the  tparm  function  to  expand  parameters  in it.  That function
           expects a mixture of numeric and string parameters, requiring  tput
           to know which type to use.

           This  implementation  uses a table to determine the parameter types
           for the standard capname operands, and an internal library function
           to analyze nonstandard capname operands.

           Besides  providing  more  reliable operation than AT&T's utility, a
           portability problem is introduced  by  this  analysis:  An  OpenBSD
           developer  adapted  the  internal  library function from ncurses to
           port NetBSD's  termcap-based  tput  to  terminfo.   That  had  been
           modified  to  interpret  multiple  commands  on  a  line.  Portable
           applications should not rely upon this feature; ncurses provides it
           to support applications written specifically for OpenBSD.

       This  implementation  (unlike  others)  can  accept  both  termcap  and
       terminfo names for the capname feature, if termcap support is  compiled
       in.   However,  the  predefined  termcap  and  terminfo  names have two
       ambiguities in this case (and the terminfo name is assumed):

       o   The termcap name dl corresponds to the terminfo  name  dl1  (delete
           one line).
           The  terminfo  name dl corresponds to the termcap name DL (delete a
           given number of lines).

       o   The termcap name ed corresponds to  the  terminfo  name  rmdc  (end
           delete mode).
           The  terminfo  name ed corresponds to the termcap name cd (clear to
           end of screen).

       The longname and -S options, and  the  parameter-substitution  features
       used  in  the  cup  example,  were  not  supported in BSD curses before
       4.3reno (1989) or in AT&T/USL curses before SVr4 (1988).

       IEEE  Std  1003.1/The  Open  Group    Base   Specifications   Issue   7
       (POSIX.1-2008)  documents  only the operands for clear, init and reset.
       There are a few interesting observations to make regarding that:

       o   In this implementation, clear is part of the capname support.   The
           others   (init   and   longname)  do  not  correspond  to  terminal

       o   Other  implementations  of  tput  on  SVr4-based  systems  such  as
           Solaris,  IRIX64  and HP-UX as well as others such as AIX and Tru64
           provide support for capname operands.

       o   A few platforms such as FreeBSD recognize termcap names rather than
           terminfo capability names in their respective tput commands.  Since
           2010, NetBSD's tput uses terminfo names.   Before  that,  it  (like
           FreeBSD) recognized termcap names.

           Beginning  in  2021,  FreeBSD uses the ncurses tput, configured for
           both terminfo (tested first) and termcap (as a fallback).

       Because (apparently) all of the certified Unix systems support the full
       set  of  capability names, the reasoning for documenting only a few may
       not be apparent.

       o   X/Open Curses Issue 7 documents tput differently, with capname  and
           the other features used in this implementation.

       o   That  is,  there  are  two standards for tput: POSIX (a subset) and
           X/Open Curses (the full implementation).  POSIX documents a  subset
           to  avoid  the  complication  of  including  X/Open  Curses and the
           terminal capabilities database.

       o   While it is certainly possible to  write  a  tput  program  without
           using   curses,   none   of   the   systems  which  have  a  curses
           implementation provide a tput utility which does  not  provide  the
           capname feature.

       X/Open  Curses  Issue  7  (2009)  is  the  first  version  to  document
       utilities.  However that part of X/Open Curses does not follow existing
       practice (i.e., Unix features documented in SVID 3):

       o   It  assigns exit code 4 to "invalid operand", which may be the same
           as unknown capability.  For instance, the source code for  Solaris'
           xcurses uses the term "invalid" in this case.

       o   It  assigns  exit  code  255  to  a  numeric  variable  that is not
           specified in the terminfo database.  That likely is a documentation
           error,  confusing  the  -1  written  to  the standard output for an
           absent or cancelled numeric value versus an (unsigned) exit code.

       The various Unix systems (AIX, HP-UX, Solaris) use the same  exit-codes
       as ncurses.

       NetBSD curses documents different exit codes which do not correspond to
       either ncurses or X/Open.


       The tput command was begun by Bill Joy in 1980.   The  initial  version
       only cleared the screen.

       AT&T System V provided a different tput command:

       o   SVr2  provided  a  rudimentary  tput  which  checked  the parameter
           against each predefined capability and returned  the  corresponding
           value.   This  version  of  tput  did  not  use  tparm(3x)  for the
           capabilities which are parameterized.

       o   SVr3 replaced that, a year later, by a more extensive program whose
           init  and  reset  subcommands  (more  than  half  the program) were
           incorporated from the reset feature of BSD  tset  written  by  Eric

       o   SVr4 added color initialization using the orig_colors and orig_pair
           capabilities in the init subcommand.

       Keith Bostic  replaced  the  BSD  tput  command  in  1989  with  a  new
       implementation  based on the AT&T System V program tput.  Like the AT&T
       program, Bostic's version accepted some parameters named  for  terminfo
       capabilities  (clear,  init,  longname and reset).  However (because he
       had only termcap  available),  it  accepted  termcap  names  for  other
       capabilities.   Also, Bostic's BSD tput did not modify the terminal I/O
       modes as the earlier BSD tset had done.

       At the same time, Bostic added a shell script named "clear", which used
       tput to clear the screen.

       Both   of   these   appeared  in  4.4BSD,  becoming  the  "modern"  BSD
       implementation of tput.

       This implementation of tput began from a different source than AT&T  or
       BSD:  Ross  Ridge's  mytinfo package, published on comp.sources.unix in
       December 1992.  Ridge's program made  more  sophisticated  use  of  the
       terminal  capabilities  than  the  BSD program.  Eric Raymond used that
       tput program (and other parts of mytinfo)  in  ncurses  in  June  1995.
       Using  the  portions  dealing with terminal capabilities almost without
       change,  Raymond  made  improvements  to  the  way   the   command-line
       parameters were handled.


       tput init
            Initialize  the  terminal according to the type of terminal in the
            environmental variable TERM.  This command should be  included  in
            everyone's .profile after the environmental variable TERM has been
            exported, as illustrated on the profile(5) manual page.

       tput -T5620 reset
            Reset an AT&T 5620 terminal, overriding the type  of  terminal  in
            the environmental variable TERM.

       tput cup 0 0
            Send the sequence to move the cursor to row 0, column 0 (the upper
            left corner of the screen, usually  known  as  the  "home"  cursor

       tput clear
            Echo the clear-screen sequence for the current terminal.

       tput cols
            Print the number of columns for the current terminal.

       tput -T450 cols
            Print the number of columns for the 450 terminal.

       bold=`tput smso` offbold=`tput rmso`
            Set  the  shell  variables bold, to begin stand-out mode sequence,
            and offbold, to  end  standout  mode  sequence,  for  the  current
            terminal.  This might be followed by a prompt: echo "${bold}Please
            type in your name: ${offbold}\c"

       tput hc
            Set exit code to indicate if the current terminal is a  hard  copy

       tput cup 23 4
            Send the sequence to move the cursor to row 23, column 4.

       tput cup
            Send  the  terminfo string for cursor-movement, with no parameters

       tput longname
            Print the long name from the terminfo database  for  the  type  of
            terminal specified in the environmental variable TERM.

            tput -S <<!
            > clear
            > cup 10 10
            > bold
            > !

            This  example  shows  tput  processing several capabilities in one
            invocation.  It clears the screen, moves the  cursor  to  position
            10,  10  and  turns  on  bold  (extra  bright)  mode.  The list is
            terminated by an exclamation mark (!) on a line by itself.


       clear(1), stty(1), tabs(1), tset(1), curs_termcap(3x), terminfo(5)

ncurses 6.4                       2023-12-02                           tput(1)