tic.1m - Cheap VPS LLC


Section: Misc. Reference Manual Pages (1M)
Return to Main Contents



tic – the terminfo entry-description compiler


[-e names]
[-o dir]
[-R subset]



The command tic translates a terminfo file from source
format into compiled format. The compiled format is necessary for use with
the library routines in ncurses(3X).

The results are normally placed in the system terminfo
directory /usr/share/terminfo. There are two ways to change this behavior.

First, you may override the system default by setting the variable
TERMINFO in your shell environment to a valid (existing) directory name.

Secondly, if tic cannot get access to /usr/share/terminfo or your TERMINFO
directory, it looks for the directory $HOME/.terminfo; if that directory
exists, the entry is placed there.

Libraries that read terminfo entries are expected to check for a TERMINFO
directory first, look at $HOME/.terminfo if TERMINFO is not set, and
finally look in /usr/share/terminfo.


restricts the output to a single column

tells tic to retain commented-out capabilities rather than discarding
them. Capabilities are commented by prefixing them with a period.
This sets the -x option, because it treats the commented-out
entries as user-defined names.
If the source is termcap, accept the 2-character names required by version 6.
Otherwise these are ignored.

Force source translation to termcap format. Note: this differs from the -C
option of infocmp(1M) in that it does not merely translate capability
names, but also translates terminfo strings to termcap format. Capabilities
that are not translatable are left in the entry under their terminfo names
but commented out with two preceding dots.

tells tic to only check file for errors, including syntax problems and
bad use links. If you specify -C (-I) with this option, the code
will print warnings about entries which, after use resolution, are more than
1023 (4096) bytes long. Due to a fixed buffer length in older termcap
libraries (and a documented limit in terminfo), these entries may cause core
-e names

Limit writes and translations to the following comma-separated list of
If any name or alias of a terminal matches one of the names in
the list, the entry will be written or translated as normal.
Otherwise no output will be generated for it.
The option value is interpreted as a file containing the list if it
contains a ‘/’.
(Note: depending on how tic was compiled, this option may require -I or -C.)

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

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

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

Force source translation to terminfo format.

Force source translation to terminfo format
using the long C variable names listed in <term.h>

Disable smart defaults.
Normally, when translating from termcap to terminfo, the compiler makes
a number of assumptions about the defaults of string capabilities
reset1_string, carriage_return, cursor_left,
cursor_down, scroll_forward, tab, newline,
key_backspace, key_left, and key_down, then attempts
to use obsolete termcap capabilities to deduce correct values. It also
normally suppresses output of obsolete termcap capabilities such as bs.
This option forces a more literal translation that also preserves the
obsolete capabilities.

Write compiled entries to given directory. Overrides the TERMINFO environment

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 outright broken ports like AIX 3.x
that have their own extensions incompatible with SVr4/XSI. Available subsets
are "SVr1", "Ultrix", "HP", "BSD" and "AIX"; see terminfo(5) for details.

Force entry resolution (so there are no remaining tc capabilities) even
when doing translation to termcap format. This may be needed if you are
preparing a termcap file for a termcap library (such as GNU termcap through
version 1.3 or BSD termcap through 4.3BSD) that does not handle multiple
tc capabilities per entry.

Summarize the compile by showing the directory into which entries
are written, and the number of entries which are compiled.

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).

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

tells tic to not post-process the data after parsing the source file.
Normally, it infers data which is commonly missing in older terminfo data,
or in termcaps.

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

specifies that (verbose) output be written to standard error trace
information showing tic‘s progress.
The optional parameter n is a number from 1 to 10, inclusive,
indicating the desired level of detail of information.
If n is omitted, the default level is 1.
If n is specified and greater than 1, the level of
detail is increased.

specifies the width of the output.
The parameter is optional.
If it is omitted, it defaults to 60.

Treat unknown capabilities as user-defined.
That is, if you supply a capability name which tic does not recognize,
it will infer its type (boolean, number or string) from the syntax and
make an extended table entry for that.
User-defined capability strings
whose name begins with “k” are treated as function keys.

contains one or more terminfo terminal descriptions in source
format [see terminfo(5)]. Each description in the file
describes the capabilities of a particular terminal.

The debug flag levels are as follows:


Names of files created and linked

Information related to the “use” facility

Statistics from the hashing algorithm

String-table memory allocations

Entries into the string-table

List of tokens encountered by scanner

All values computed in construction of the hash table

If the debug level n is not given, it is taken to be one.

All but one of the capabilities recognized by tic are documented
in terminfo(5). The exception is the use capability.

When a use=entry-name field is discovered in a
terminal entry currently being compiled, tic reads in the binary
from /usr/share/terminfo to complete the entry. (Entries created from
file will be used first. If the environment variable
TERMINFO is set, that directory is searched instead of
/usr/share/terminfo.) tic duplicates the capabilities in
entry-name for the current entry, with the exception of
those capabilities that explicitly are defined in the current entry.

When an entry, e.g., entry_name_1, contains a
use=entry_name_2 field, any canceled
capabilities in entry_name_2 must also appear in
entry_name_1 before use= for these capabilities to be
canceled in entry_name_1.

If the environment variable TERMINFO is set, the compiled
results are placed there instead of /usr/share/terminfo.

Total compiled entries cannot exceed 4096 bytes. The name field cannot
exceed 512 bytes. Terminal names exceeding the maximum alias length
(32 characters on systems with long filenames, 14 characters otherwise)
will be truncated to the maximum alias length and a warning message will be printed.


There is some evidence that historic tic implementations treated
description fields with no whitespace in them as additional aliases or
short names. This tic does not do that, but it does warn when
description fields may be treated that way and check them for dangerous


Unlike the stock SVr4 tic command, this implementation can actually
compile termcap sources. In fact, entries in terminfo and termcap syntax can
be mixed in a single source file. See terminfo(5) for the list of
termcap names taken to be equivalent to terminfo names.

The SVr4 manual pages are not clear on the resolution rules for use
This implementation of tic will find use targets anywhere
in the source file, or anywhere in the file tree rooted at TERMINFO (if
TERMINFO is defined), or in the user’s $HOME/.terminfo directory
(if it exists), or (finally) anywhere in the system’s file tree of
compiled entries.

The error messages from this tic have the same format as GNU C
error messages, and can be parsed by GNU Emacs’s compile facility.

-t and
are not supported under SVr4.
The SVr4 -c mode does not report bad use links.

System V does not compile entries to or read entries from your
$HOME/.terminfo directory unless TERMINFO is explicitly set to it.



Compiled terminal description database.




This describes ncurses
version 5.7 (patch 20090207).










Back to Top

PayPal Logo┬ęCheap VPS LLC - Leader of affordable VPS Hosting Services