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Section: User Commands (1)
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tput, reset – initialize a terminal or query terminfo database


tput [-Ttype] capname [parms ... ]

tput [-Ttype] init

tput [-Ttype] reset

tput [-Ttype] 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 CODES and DIAGNOSTICS sections.)
For a complete list of capabilities
and the capname associated with each, see terminfo(5).


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 be ignored,and the
operating system will not be queried for the actual screen size.

indicates the capability from the terminfo database. When
termcap support is compiled in, the termcap name for
the capability is also accepted.

If the capability is a string that takes parameters, the arguments
parms will be instantiated into the string.

Most parameters are numbers.
Only a few terminfo 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.

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 CODES section).

Again, 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.

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

If the terminfo database is present and an entry for the user’s
terminal exists (see -Ttype, above), the following will


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


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

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

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

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

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 terminfo 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)].

If tput is invoked by a link named reset, this has the
same effect as tput reset.
See tset for comparison, which has similar behavior.


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 position).
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=`@[email protected] 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 terminal.
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 substituted.
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.




compiled terminal description database

tab settings for some terminals, in a format
appropriate to be output to the terminal (escape
sequences that set margins and tabs); for more
information, see the "Tabs and Initialization"
section of terminfo(5)



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 capname:


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

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.

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

exit codeerror message

(capname is a numeric variable that is not specified in the
terminfo(5) database for this terminal type, e.g.
tput -T450 lines and @[email protected] -T2621 xmc)

1no error message is printed, see the EXIT CODES section.
2usage error
3unknown terminal type or no terminfo database
4unknown terminfo capability capname
>4error occurred in -S



The longname and -S options, and the parameter-substitution
features used in the cup example, are not supported in BSD curses or in
AT&T/USL curses before SVr4.

X/Open documents only the operands for clear, init and reset.
In this implementation, clear is part of the capname support.
Other implementations of tput on
SVr4-based systems such as Solaris, IRIX64 and HPUX
as well as others such as AIX and Tru64
provide support for capname operands.
A few platforms such as FreeBSD and NetBSD recognize termcap names rather
than terminfo capability names in their respective tput commands.



This describes ncurses
version 5.7 (patch 20090207).












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