infocmp 1m

infocmp(1m)                                                        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) 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
       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

            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 20230311).


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