tic - the terminfo entry-description compiler


   tic  [-01CDGIKLNTUVacfgqrstx]  [-e  names] [-o dir] [-Q[n]] [-R subset]
   [-v[n]] [-w[n]] file


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

   As described in term(5), the database may be either  a  directory  tree
   (one  file  per  terminal  entry)  or a hashed database (one record per
   entry).  The tic command writes only one type of  entry,  depending  on
   how it was built:

   *   For    directory    trees,    the    top-level   directory,   e.g.,
       /usr/share/terminfo, specifies the location of the database.

   *   For hashed databases, a filename is needed.  If the given  file  is
       not  found  by  that  name,  but  can be found by adding the suffix
       ".db", then that is used.

       The default name for the hashed database is the same as the default
       directory name (only adding a ".db" suffix).

   In  either  case  (directory  or  hashed database), tic will create the
   container if it does not exist.  For a directory,  this  would  be  the
   "terminfo" leaf, versus a "terminfo.db" file.

   The  results  are  normally  placed  in  the  system  terminfo database
   /etc/terminfo.  The compiled terminal description can be  placed  in  a
   different terminfo database.  There are two ways to achieve this:

   *   First,  you  may override the system default either by using the -o
       option,  or  by  setting  the  variable  TERMINFO  in  your   shell
       environment to a valid database location.

   *   Secondly,  if  tic  cannot  write  in /etc/terminfo or the location
       specified using your TERMINFO variable, it looks for the  directory
       $HOME/.terminfo  (or  hashed  database $HOME/.terminfo.db); if that
       location exists, the entry is placed there.

   Libraries  that  read  terminfo  entries  are  expected  to  check   in

   *   a location specified with the TERMINFO environment variable,

   *   $HOME/.terminfo,

   *   directories listed in the TERMINFO_DIRS environment variable,

   *   a compiled-in list of directories (no default value), and

   *   the system terminfo database (/etc/terminfo).

   -0     restricts the output to a single line

   -1     restricts the output to a single column

   -a     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.

   -C     Force source translation to termcap format.  Note: this  differs
          from  the  -C  option  of  infocmp(1) 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.  The actual format used incorporates
          some improvements for escaped characters from  terminfo  format.
          For a stricter BSD-compatible translation, add the -K option.

          If  this  is  combined  with  -c, tic makes additional checks to
          report cases where the terminfo values  do  not  have  an  exact
          equivalent in termcap form.  For example:

          *   sgr  usually  will  not  convert,  because termcap lacks the
              ability to work with more than two parameters,  and  because
              termcap  lacks many of the arithmetic/logical operators used
              in terminfo.

          *   capabilities with more than one delay or with delays  before
              the end of the string will not convert completely.

   -c     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, as well as buggy
          checking for the  buffer  length  (and  a  documented  limit  in
          terminfo),  these  entries  may  cause  core  dumps  with  other

          tic  checks  string  capabilities  to  ensure  that  those  with
          parameters  will  be valid expressions.  It does this check only
          for the predefined string capabilities; those which are  defined
          with the -x option are ignored.

   -D     tells  tic  to print the database locations that it knows about,
          and exit.  The first location shown is the one to which it would
          write  compiled  terminal  descriptions.   If tic is not able to
          find  a  writable  database  location  according  to  the  rules
          summarized  above,  it  will print a diagnostic and exit with an
          error rather than printing a list of database locations.

   -e names
          Limit writes and translations to the  following  comma-separated
          list  of  terminals.  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.)

   -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     Force source translation to terminfo format.

   -K     Suppress some longstanding ncurses extensions to termcap format,
          e.g., "\s" for space.

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

   -N     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.

   -odir  Write  compiled  entries  to given database location.  Overrides
          the TERMINFO environment variable.

   -Qn    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

   -q     Suppress  comments  and  blank  lines  when  showing  translated

          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

   -r     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.

   -s     Summarize the compile by  showing  the  database  location  into
          which  entries  are written, and the number of entries which are

   -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  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.

   -V   reports the version of ncurses which was used in this program, and

   -vn  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

        The debug flag levels are as follows:

        1      Names of files created and linked

        2      Information related to the "use" facility

        3      Statistics from the hashing algorithm

        5      String-table memory allocations

        7      Entries into the string-table

        8      List of tokens encountered by scanner

        9      All values computed in construction of the hash table

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

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

   -x   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.

   file   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.

          If file is "-", then the data is read from the  standard  input.
          The file parameter may also be the path of a character-device.

   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 /etc/terminfo to complete
   the entry.  (Entries  created  from  file  will  be  used  first.   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

   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 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
   capabilities.   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
   database  (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.

   The  -0, -1, -C, -G, -I, -N, -R, -T, -V, -a, -e, -f, -g, -o, -r, -s, -t
   and -x options 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 database unless TERMINFO is explicitly set to it.


        Compiled terminal description database.


   infocmp(1),  captoinfo(1),  infotocap(1),  toe(1),   ncurses(3NCURSES),
   term(5).  terminfo(5).

   This describes ncurses version 6.0 (patch 20160625).


   Eric S. Raymond <esr@snark.thyrsus.com> and
   Thomas E. Dickey <dickey@invisible-island.net>



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