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infocmp - compare or print out terminfo descriptions


infocmp [-1CDEFGIKLTUVcdegilnpqrtux]
[-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 will depend on the type of the
capability: F for boolean variables, -1 for integer variables, and NULL for string

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

The -c option produces a list of each capability that is common between two or more
entries. Capabilities that are not set are ignored. This option can be used 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 none of the given entries. If
no termnames are given, the environment variable TERM will be used for both of the
termnames. This can be used as a quick check to see if anything was left out of a

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

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 optional.

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 get 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 gets 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 description.

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) for details).

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

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

· 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 characters.

-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 entry.

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 structure.

-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

-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 `+' (turn on) or `-' (turn off).

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

-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

-q This makes the output a little shorter:

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

· 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.

Available terminfo subsets are "SVr1", "Ultrix", "HP", and "AIX"; see terminfo(5) for
details. You can also choose the subset "BSD" 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 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 terminfo).

-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 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.

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

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