infocmp(1)                  General Commands Manual                 infocmp(1)

       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 ter-
       minfo entries, rewrite a terminfo description to take advantage of  the
       use=  terminfo  field, or print out a terminfo description from the bi-
       nary 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 capabil-

       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 capabil-
            ity value.

            The  -u option provides a related output, showing the first termi-
            nal 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  ter-
       minal 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  in-
       formation,  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 of-
       ten  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.  Manda-
       tory padding (padding information with a trailing "/") will become  op-

       All  termcap  variables  no longer supported by terminfo, but which are
       derivable from other terminfo variables, will be output.  Not all  ter-
       minfo  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 charac-
       ters 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 capabil-
       ity, not all capabilities are output.  Mandatory padding  is  not  sup-
       ported.   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

       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  ter-
       minal  termname  which is relative to the sum of the descriptions given
       by the entries for the other terminals termnames.  It does this by ana-
       lyzing  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 ex-
       ists in the first termname, but one of the other termname entries  con-
       tains  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  en-
       tries,  or if the first of the other termname entries that has this ca-
       pability gives a different value for the capability than  that  in  the
       first termname.

       The order of the other termname entries is significant.  Since the ter-
       minfo compiler tic does a left-to-right scan of the capabilities, spec-
       ifying two use= entries that contain differing entries for the same ca-
       pabilities 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.  Us-
       ing infocmp to recreate a description can be a  useful  check  to  make
       sure that everything was specified correctly in the original source de-

       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 descrip-
       tions 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:

       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 ter-
       minal with the same name located in two different databases.   For  in-
       stance,  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  capabil-
            ity structure in the <term.h>).  This option is useful for prepar-
            ing 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 ar-
            rays of terminal capabilities separate from  the  TERMTYPE  struc-

       -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 be-
            tween entries, with two entries considered  to  match  if  any  of
            their  names  do.  The report printed to standard output lists en-
            tries 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 char-
            acter 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  start-
            ing/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

            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  com-
            piled  (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 capa-

            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 capa-
                bilities with termcap equivalents recognized by  4.4BSD.   The
                -C option sets the "BSD" subset as a side-effect.

            o   If  you  select  any  other value for -R, it is the same as no
                subset, i.e., all capabilities are used.  The -I option  like-
                wise selects no subset as a side-effect.

       -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  ter-
                 minfo 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,  ex-
            cept  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  de-
            scriptions  are  limited  (e.g.,  1023  for termcap, 4096 for ter-

       -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 con-
            tents 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, in-
            dicating the desired level of detail of information.   If  ncurses
            is  built  without  tracing support, the optional parameter is ig-

       -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.

       /etc/terminfo       Compiled terminal description database.

       Although System V Release 2 provided a terminfo library, it had no doc-
       umented 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 equiva-
       lent infocmp for ncurses.  In addition, he added  a  few  new  features
       such as:

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

       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 capa-

       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 capabil-
       ities.  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 strings.

       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(1) should be a toe(1) mode.

       captoinfo(1), infotocap(1),  tic(1),  toe(1),  ncurses(3NCURSES),  ter-
       minfo(5).  user_caps(5).

       This describes ncurses version 6.2 (patch 20200212).

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

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