Content-type: text/html Man page of tput


Section: User Commands (1)
Updated: 1 Feb 1995
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tput - initialize a terminal or query terminfo database  


tput [-T type] capname [parm...]

tput -S <<  


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 clear, initialize or reset the terminal; or to return the long name of the requested terminal type. tput outputs a string if the capability attribute (capname) is of type string, or an integer if the attribute is of type integer. If the attribute is of type boolean, tput simply sets the exit status (0 for TRUE if the terminal has the capability, 1 for FALSE if it does not), and produces no output. Before using a value returned on standard output, the user should test the exit status ($?, see sh(1)) to be sure it is 0. See the EXIT STATUS section.  


The following options are supported:

-Ttype 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 and the layer size will not be referenced.

-S 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 the example in the EXAMPLES section). Only one capname is allowed per line. The -S option changes the meaning of the 0 and 1 boolean and string exit statuses (see the EXAMPLES section).



The following operands are supported:

capname Indicates the capability attribute from the terminfo database. See terminfo(4) for a complete list of capabilities and the capname associated with each.

The following strings will be supported as operands by the implementation in the "C" locale:

clear Display the clear-screen sequence.

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

1. if present, the terminal's initialization strings will be output (is1, is2, is3, if, iprog),

2. any delays (for instance, newline) specified in the entry will be set in the tty driver,

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

4. 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.

reset 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.

longname 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)).

parm If the attribute is a string that takes parameters, the argument parm will be instantiated into the string. An all numeric argument will be passed to the attribute as a number.



Example 1: Initializing the terminal according to TERM

This example initializes the terminal according to the type of terminal in the environment variable TERM. This command should be included in everyone's .profile after the environment variable TERM has been exported, as illustrated on the profile(4) manual page.

example% tput init

Example 2: Resetting a terminal

This example resets an AT&T 5620 terminal, overriding the type of terminal in the environment variable TERM:

example% tput -T5620 reset

Example 3: Moving the cursor

The following example sends 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).

example% tput cup 0 0

This next example sends the sequence to move the cursor to row 23, column 4.

example% tput cup 23 4

Example 4: Echoing the clear-screen sequence

This example echos the clear-screen sequence for the current terminal.

example% tput clear

Example 5: Printing the number of columns

This command prints the number of columns for the current terminal.

example% tput cols

The following command prints the number of columns for the 450 terminal.

example% tput -T450 cols

Example 6: Setting shell variables

This example sets 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" 
example% bold='tput smso'
example% offbold='tput rmso'

Example 7: Setting the exit status

This example sets the exit status to indicate if the current terminal is a hardcopy terminal.

example% tput hc

Example 8: Printing the long name from terminfo

This command prints the long name from the terminfo database for the type of terminal specified in the environment variable TERM.

example% tput longname

Example 9: Processing several capabilities with one invocation

This example shows tput processing several capabilities in one invocation. This example 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.

example% tput -S <<! 
> clear 
> cup 10 10
> bold 
> !


See environ(5) for descriptions of the following environment variables that affect the execution of tput: LANG, LC_ALL, LC_CTYPE, LC_MESSAGES, and NLSPATH.

TERM Determine the terminal type. If this variable is unset or null, and if the -T option is not specified, an unspecified default terminal type will be used.



The following exit values are returned:


• If capname is of type boolean and -S is not specified, indicates TRUE.

• If capname is of type string and -S is not specified, indicates capname is defined for this terminal type.

• If capname is of type boolean or string and -S is specified, indicates that all lines were successful.

capname is of type integer.

• The requested string was written successfully.


• If capname is of type boolean and -S is not specified, indicates FALSE.

• If capname is of type string and -S is not specified, indicates that capname is not defined for this terminal type.

2 Usage error.

3 No information is available about the specified terminal type.

4 The specified operand is invalid.

>4 An error occurred.

-1 capname is a numeric variable that is not specified in the terminfo database. For instance, tput -T450 lines and tput -T2621 xmc.



/usr/include/curses.h curses(3CURSES) header

/usr/include/term.h terminfo header

/usr/lib/tabset/* 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(4)

/usr/share/lib/terminfo/?/* compiled terminal description database



See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following attributes:

Interface StabilityStandard



clear(1), sh(1), stty(1), tabs(1), curses(3CURSES), profile(4), terminfo(4), attributes(5), environ(5), standards(5), term(5)




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Time: 02:39:21 GMT, October 02, 2010