setupterm, setterm, set_curterm, del_curterm, restartterm,
tparm, tputs, putp, vidputs, vidattr, mvcur, tigetflag,
tigetnum, tigetstr - curses interfaces to terminfo
int setupterm(const char *term, int fildes, int *errret);
int setterm(const char *term);
TERMINAL *set_curterm(TERMINAL *nterm);
int del_curterm(TERMINAL *oterm);
int restartterm(const char *term, int fildes, int
char *tparm(const char *str, ...);
int tputs(const char *str, int affcnt, int (*putc)(int));
int putp(const char *str);
int vidputs(chtype attrs, int (*putc)(char));
int vidattr(chtype attrs);
int mvcur(int oldrow, int oldcol, int newrow, int newcol);
int tigetflag(const char *capname);
int tigetnum(const char *capname);
char *tigetstr(const char *capname);
These low-level routines must be called by programs that
have to deal directly with the terminfo database to handle
certain terminal capabilities, such as programming function
keys. For all other functionality, curses routines
are more suitable and their use is recommended.
Initially, setupterm should be called. Note that
setupterm is automatically called by initscr and newterm.
This defines the set of terminal-dependent variables
[listed in terminfo(5)]. The terminfo variables lines and
columns are initialized by setupterm as follows: If
use_env(FALSE) has been called, values for lines and
columns specified in terminfo are used. Otherwise, if the
environment variables LINES and COLUMNS exist, their values
are used. If these environment variables do not exist
and the program is running in a window, the current window
size is used. Otherwise, if the environment variables do
not exist, the values for lines and columns specified in
the terminfo database are used.
The header files curses.h and term.h should be included
(in this order) to get the definitions for these strings,
numbers, and flags. Parameterized strings should be
passed through tparm to instantiate them. All terminfo
strings [including the output of tparm] should be printed
with tputs or putp. Call the reset_shell_mode to restore
the tty modes before exiting [see curs_kernel(3)].
Programs which use cursor addressing should output
enter_ca_mode upon startup and should output exit_ca_mode
before exiting. Programs desiring shell escapes should
call reset_shell_mode and output exit_ca_mode before the
shell is called and should output enter_ca_mode and call
reset_prog_mode after returning from the shell.
The setupterm routine reads in the terminfo database, initializing
the terminfo structures, but does not set up the
output virtualization structures used by curses. The terminal
type is the character string term; if term is null,
the environment variable TERM is used. All output is to
file descriptor fildes which is initialized for output.
If errret is not null, then setupterm returns OK or ERR
and stores a status value in the integer pointed to by
errret. A return value of OK combined with status of 1 in
errret is normal. If ERR is returned, examine errret:
1 means that the terminal is hardcopy, cannot be
used for curses applications.
0 means that the terminal could not be found, or
that it is a generic type, having too little
information for curses applications to run.
-1 means that the terminfo database could not be
If errret is null, setupterm prints an error message upon
finding an error and exits. Thus, the simplest call is:
setupterm((char *)0, 1, (int *)0);,
which uses all the defaults and sends the output to std-
The setterm routine is being replaced by setupterm. The
setupterm(term, 1, (int *)0)
provides the same functionality as setterm(term). The
setterm routine is included here for BSD compatibility,
and is not recommended for new programs.
The set_curterm routine sets the variable cur_term to
nterm, and makes all of the terminfo boolean, numeric, and
string variables use the values from nterm. It returns
the old value of cur_term.
The del_curterm routine frees the space pointed to by
oterm and makes it available for further use. If oterm is
the same as cur_term, references to any of the terminfo
boolean, numeric, and string variables thereafter may
refer to invalid memory locations until another setupterm
has been called.
The restartterm routine is similar to setupterm and
initscr, except that it is called after restoring memory
to a previous state (for example, when reloading a game
saved as a core image dump). It assumes that the windows
and the input and output options are the same as when memory
was saved, but the terminal type and baud rate may be
different. Accordingly, it saves various tty state bits,
does a setupterm, and then restores the bits.
The tparm routine instantiates the string str with parameters
pi. A pointer is returned to the result of str with
the parameters applied.
The tputs routine applies padding information to the
string str and outputs it. The str must be a terminfo
string variable or the return value from tparm, tgetstr,
or tgoto. affcnt is the number of lines affected, or 1 if
not applicable. putc is a putchar-like routine to which
the characters are passed, one at a time.
The putp routine calls tputs(str, 1, putchar). Note that
the output of putp always goes to stdout, not to the
fildes specified in setupterm.
The vidputs routine displays the string on the terminal in
the video attribute mode attrs, which is any combination
of the attributes listed in curses(3). The characters are
passed to the putchar-like routine putc.
The vidattr routine is like the vidputs routine, except
that it outputs through putchar.
The mvcur routine provides low-level cursor motion. It
takes effect immediately (rather than at the next
The tigetflag, tigetnum and tigetstr routines return the
value of the capability corresponding to the terminfo cap-
name passed to them, such as xenl.
The tigetflag routine returns the value -1 if capname is
not a boolean capability, or 0 if it is canceled or absent
from the terminal description.
The tigetnum routine returns the value -2 if capname is
not a numeric capability, or -1 if it is canceled or
absent from the terminal description.
The tigetstr routine returns the value (char *)-1 if cap-
name is not a string capability, or 0 if it is canceled or
absent from the terminal description.
The capname for each capability is given in the table column
entitled capname code in the capabilities section of
char *boolnames, *boolcodes, *boolfnames
char *numnames, *numcodes, *numfnames
char *strnames, *strcodes, *strfnames
These null-terminated arrays contain the capnames, the
termcap codes, and the full C names, for each of the ter-
Routines that return an integer return ERR upon failure
and OK (SVr4 only specifies "an integer value other than
ERR") upon successful completion, unless otherwise noted
in the preceding routine descriptions.
Routines that return pointers always return NULL on error.
The setupterm routine should be used in place of setterm.
It may be useful when you want to test for terminal capabilities
without committing to the allocation of storage
involved in initscr.
Note that vidattr and vidputs may be macros.
The function setterm is not described in the XSI Curses
standard and must be considered non-portable. All other
functions are as described in the XSI curses standard.
In System V Release 4, set_curterm has an int return type
and returns OK or ERR. We have chosen to implement the
XSI Curses semantics.
In System V Release 4, the third argument of tputs has the
type int (*putc)(char).
The XSI Curses standard prototypes tparm with a fixed number
of parameters, rather than a variable argument list.
That prototype assumes that none of the parameters are
strings (or if so, that a long is big enough to hold a
pointer). The variable argument list implemented in
ncurses does not rely on that assumption.
XSI notes that after calling mvcur, the curses state may
not match the actual terminal state, and that an application
should touch and refresh the window before resuming
normal curses calls. Both ncurses and System V Release 4
curses implement mvcur using the SCREEN data allocated in
either initscr or newterm. So though it is documented as
a terminfo function, mvcur is really a curses function
which is not well specified.
curses(3), curs_initscr(3), curs_kernel(3), termcap(3),
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