/etc/termcap is an ASCII file (the database master) that lists the capabilities of many different types of terminals. Programs can read termcap to find the particular escape codes needed to control the visual attributes of the terminal actually in use. (Other aspects of the terminal are handled by stty(1).) The termcap database is indexed on the TERM environment variable.
Termcap entries must be defined on a single logical line, with '\' used to suppress the newline. Fields are separated by ':'. The first field of each entry starts at the left-hand margin, and contains a list of names for the terminal, separated by '|'.
The first subfield may (in BSD termcap entries from versions 4.3 and prior) contain a short name consisting of two characters. This short name may consist of capital or small letters. In 4.4BSD termcap entries this field is omitted.
The second subfield (first, in the newer 4.4BSD format) contains the name used by the environment variable TERM. It should be spelled in lowercase letters. Selectable hardware capabilities should be marked by appending a hyphen and a suffix to this name. See below for an example. Usual suffixes are w (more than 80 characters wide), am (automatic margins), nam (no automatic margins), and rv (reverse video display). The third subfield contains a long and descriptive name for this termcap entry.
Subsequent fields contain the terminal capabilities; any continued capability lines must be indented one tab from the left margin.
Although there is no defined order, it is suggested to write first boolean, then numeric, and then string capabilities, each sorted alphabetically without looking at lower or upper spelling. Capabilities of similar functions can be written in one line.
Example for: Head line: vt|vt101|DEC VT 101 terminal in 80 character mode:\ Head line: Vt|vt101-w|DEC VT 101 terminal in (wide) 132 character mode:\ Boolean: :bs:\ Numeric: :co#80:\ String: :sr=\E[H:\
5i Printer will not echo on screen am Automatic margins which means automatic line wrap bs Control-H (8 dec.) performs a backspace bw Backspace on left margin wraps to previous line and right margin da Display retained above screen db Display retained below screen eo A space erases all characters at cursor position es Escape sequences and special characters work in status line gn Generic device hc This is a hardcopy terminal HC The cursor is hard to see when not on bottom line hs Has a status line hz Hazeltine bug, the terminal can not print tilde characters in Terminal inserts null bytes, not spaces, to fill whitespace km Terminal has a meta key mi Cursor movement works in insert mode ms Cursor movement works in standout/underline mode NP No pad character NR ti does not reverse te nx No padding, must use XON/XOFF os Terminal can overstrike ul Terminal underlines although it can not overstrike xb Beehive glitch, f1 sends ESCAPE, f2 sends ^C xn Newline/wraparound glitch xo Terminal uses xon/xoff protocol xs Text typed over standout text will be displayed in standout xt Teleray glitch, destructive tabs and odd standout mode
co Number of columns dB Delay in milliseconds for backspace on hardcopy terminals dC Delay in milliseconds for carriage return on hardcopy terminals dF Delay in milliseconds for form feed on hardcopy terminals dN Delay in milliseconds for new line on hardcopy terminals dT Delay in milliseconds for tabulator stop on hardcopy terminals dV Delay in milliseconds for vertical tabulator stop on hardcopy terminals it Difference between tab positions lh Height of soft labels lm Lines of memory lw Width of soft labels li Number of lines Nl Number of soft labels pb Lowest baud rate which needs padding sg Standout glitch ug Underline glitch vt virtual terminal number ws Width of status line if different from screen width
!1 shifted save key !2 shifted suspend key !3 shifted undo key #1 shifted help key #2 shifted home key #3 shifted input key #4 shifted cursor left key %0 redo key %1 help key %2 mark key %3 message key %4 move key %5 next-object key %6 open key %7 options key %8 previous-object key %9 print key %a shifted message key %b shifted move key %c shifted next key %d shifted options key %e shifted previous key %f shifted print key %g shifted redo key %h shifted replace key %i shifted cursor right key %j shifted resume key &0 shifted cancel key &1 reference key &2 refresh key &3 replace key &4 restart key &5 resume key &6 save key &7 suspend key &8 undo key &9 shifted begin key *0 shifted find key *1 shifted command key *2 shifted copy key *3 shifted create key *4 shifted delete character *5 shifted delete line *6 select key *7 shifted end key *8 shifted clear line key *9 shifted exit key @0 find key @1 begin key @2 cancel key @3 close key @4 command key @5 copy key @6 create key @7 end key @8 enter/send key @9 exit key al Insert one line AL Insert %1 lines ac Pairs of block graphic characters to map alternate character set ae End alternative character set as Start alternative character set for block graphic characters bc Backspace, if not ^H bl Audio bell bt Move to previous tab stop cb Clear from beginning of line to cursor cc Dummy command character cd Clear to end of screen ce Clear to end of line ch Move cursor horizontally only to column %1 cl Clear screen and cursor home cm Cursor move to row %1 and column %2 (on screen) CM Move cursor to row %1 and column %2 (in memory) cr Carriage return cs Scroll region from line %1 to %2 ct Clear tabs cv Move cursor vertically only to line %1 dc Delete one character DC Delete %1 characters dl Delete one line DL Delete %1 lines dm Begin delete mode do Cursor down one line DO Cursor down #1 lines ds Disable status line eA Enable alternate character set ec Erase %1 characters starting at cursor ed End delete mode ei End insert mode ff Formfeed character on hardcopy terminals fs Return character to its position before going to status line F1 The string sent by function key f11 F2 The string sent by function key f12 F3 The string sent by function key f13 ... ... F9 The string sent by function key f19 FA The string sent by function key f20 FB The string sent by function key f21 ... ... FZ The string sent by function key f45 Fa The string sent by function key f46 Fb The string sent by function key f47 ... ... Fr The string sent by function key f63 hd Move cursor a half line down ho Cursor home hu Move cursor a half line up i1 Initialization string 1 at login i3 Initialization string 3 at login is Initialization string 2 at login ic Insert one character IC Insert %1 characters if Initialization file im Begin insert mode ip Insert pad time and needed special characters after insert iP Initialization program K1 upper left key on keypad K2 center key on keypad K3 upper right key on keypad K4 bottom left key on keypad K5 bottom right key on keypad k0 Function key 0 k1 Function key 1 k2 Function key 2 k3 Function key 3 k4 Function key 4 k5 Function key 5 k6 Function key 6 k7 Function key 7 k8 Function key 8 k9 Function key 9 k; Function key 10 ka Clear all tabs key kA Insert line key kb Backspace key kB Back tab stop kC Clear screen key kd Cursor down key kD Key for delete character under cursor ke turn keypad off kE Key for clear to end of line kF Key for scrolling forward/down kh Cursor home key kH Cursor hown down key kI Insert character/Insert mode key kl Cursor left key kL Key for delete line kM Key for exit insert mode kN Key for next page kP Key for previous page kr Cursor right key kR Key for scrolling backward/up ks Turn keypad on kS Clear to end of screen key kt Clear this tab key kT Set tab here key ku Cursor up key l0 Label of zeroth function key, if not f0 l1 Label of first function key, if not f1 l2 Label of first function key, if not f2 ... ... la Label of tenth function key, if not f10 le Cursor left one character ll Move cursor to lower left corner LE Cursor left %1 characters LF Turn soft labels off LO Turn soft labels on mb Start blinking MC Clear soft margins md Start bold mode me End all mode like so, us, mb, md and mr mh Start half bright mode mk Dark mode (Characters invisible) ML Set left soft margin mm Put terminal in meta mode mo Put terminal out of meta mode mp Turn on protected attribute mr Start reverse mode MR Set right soft margin nd Cursor right one character nw Carriage return command pc Padding character pf Turn printer off pk Program key %1 to send string %2 as if typed by user pl Program key %1 to execute string %2 in local mode pn Program soft label %1 to show string %2 po Turn the printer on pO Turn the printer on for %1 (<256) bytes ps Print screen contents on printer px Program key %1 to send string %2 to computer r1 Reset string 1 to set terminal to sane modes r2 Reset string 2 to set terminal to sane modes r3 Reset string 3 to set terminal to sane modes RA disable automatic margins rc Restore saved cursor position rf Reset string filename RF Request for input from terminal RI Cursor right %1 characters rp Repeat character %1 for %2 times rP Padding after character sent in replace mode rs Reset string RX Turn off XON/XOFF flow control sa Set %1 %2 %3 %4 %5 %6 %7 %8 %9 attributes SA enable automatic margins sc Save cursor position se End standout mode sf Normal scroll one line SF Normal scroll %1 lines so Start standout mode sr Reverse scroll SR scroll back %1 lines st Set tabulator stop in all rows at current column SX Turn on XON/XOFF flow control ta move to next hardware tab tc Read in terminal description from another entry te End program that uses cursor motion ti Begin program that uses cursor motion ts Move cursor to column %1 of status line uc Underline character under cursor and move cursor right ue End underlining up Cursor up one line UP Cursor up %1 lines us Start underlining vb Visible bell ve Normal cursor visible vi Cursor invisible vs Standout cursor wi Set window from line %1 to %2 and column %3 to %4 XF XOFF character if not ^S
There are several ways of defining the control codes for string capabilities:
Every normal character represents itself, except '^', '\', and '%'.
A ^x means Control-x. Control-A equals 1 decimal.
\x means a special code. x can be one of the following characters:
If you use binary output, then you should avoid the null character because it terminates the string. You should reset tabulator expansion if a tabulator can be the binary output of a parameter.
The block graphic characters can be specified by three string capabilities:
The following names are available:
+ right arrow (>) , left arrow (<) . down arrow (v) 0 full square (#) I lantern (#) - upper arrow (^) ' rhombus (+) a chess board (:) f degree (') g plus-minus (#) h square (#) j right bottom corner (+) k right upper corner (+) l left upper corner (+) m left bottom corner (+) n cross (+) o upper horizontal line (-) q middle horizontal line (-) s bottom horizontal line (_) t left tee (+) u right tee (+) v bottom tee (+) w normal tee (+) x vertical line (|) ~ paragraph (???)
The values in parentheses are suggested defaults which are used by curses, if the capabilities are missing.