tic 1m

tic(1m)                                                                tic(1m)


       tic - the terminfo entry-description compiler


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


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

       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:

       o   For directory trees, the top-level directory, e.g., /usr/share/ter-
           minfo, specifies the location of the database.

       o   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 con-
       tainer if it does not exist.  For a directory, this would be the  "ter-
       minfo" leaf, versus a "terminfo.db" file.

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

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

       o   Secondly,  if  tic cannot write in /usr/share/terminfo or the loca-
           tion 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  succes-

       o   a location specified with the TERMINFO environment variable,

       o   $HOME/.terminfo,

       o   directories listed in the TERMINFO_DIRS environment variable,

       o   a  compiled-in  list  of directories (/usr/local/ncurses/share/ter-
           minfo:/usr/share/terminfo), and

       o   the system terminfo database (/usr/share/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  dis-
              carding them.  Capabilities are commented by prefixing them with
              a period.  This sets the -x option, because it treats  the  com-
              mented-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(1m) 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:

              o   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.

              o   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  prob-
              lems  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 ter-
              minfo), these entries may cause core dumps with other  implemen-

              tic checks string capabilities to ensure that those with parame-
              ters 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 summa-
              rized 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 com-
              piled, 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,   car-
              riage_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,  depend-
              ing 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  ter-
              minfo;  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  capabili-
              ties)  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 ter-

       -t     tells tic to discard commented-out capabilities.  Normally  when
              translating  from  terminfo to termcap, untranslatable capabili-
              ties 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 ncurses
            is built  without  tracing  support,  the  optional  parameter  is
            ignored.  If n is omitted, the default level is 1.  If n is speci-
            fied and greater than 1, the level of detail is increased.

            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.

       -W   By itself, the -w  option  will  not  force  long  strings  to  be
            wrapped.  Use the -W option to do this.

            If  you specify both -f and -W options, the latter is ignored when
            -f has already split the line.

       -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 (see user_caps(5)).
            That is, if you supply a capability name which tic does not recog-
            nize,  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 func-
            tion 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 /usr/share/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.


       System V Release 2 provided  a  tic  utility.   It  accepted  a  single
       option:  -v  (optionally  followed  by  a  number).   According to Ross
       Ridge's comment in mytinfo, this version of tic was unable to represent
       cancelled capabilities.

       System  V  Release 3 provided a different tic utility, written by Pavel
       Curtis, (originally named "compile" in pcurses).  This added an  option
       -c  to check the file for errors, with the caveat that errors in "use="
       links would not be reported.  System V Release 3 documented a few warn-
       ing messages which did not appear in pcurses.  While the program itself
       was changed little as development continued with System  V  Release  4,
       the table of capabilities grew from 180 (pcurses) to 464 (Solaris).

       In  early  development of ncurses (1993), Zeyd Ben-Halim used the table
       from mytinfo to extend the  pcurses  table  to  469  capabilities  (456
       matched  SVr4, 8 were only in SVr4, 13 were not in SVr4).  Of those 13,
       11 were ultimately discarded (perhaps to  match  the  draft  of  X/Open
       Curses).   The exceptions were memory_lock_above and memory_unlock (see

       Eric Raymond incorporated parts of mytinfo into  ncurses  to  implement
       the  termcap-to-terminfo  source conversion, and extended that to begin
       development of the corresponding terminfo-to-termcap source conversion,
       Thomas  Dickey  completed  that  development over the course of several

       In 1999, Thomas Dickey added the  -x  option  to  support  user-defined

       In  2010,  Roy  Marples provided a tic program and terminfo library for
       NetBSD.  This implementation  adapts  several  features  from  ncurses,
       including tic's -x option.

       The  -c  option  tells tic to check for problems in the terminfo source
       file.  Continued development provides additional checks:

       o   pcurses had 8 warnings

       o   ncurses in 1996 had 16 warnings

       o   Solaris (SVr4) curses has 28 warnings

       o   NetBSD tic in 2019 has 19 warnings.

       o   ncurses in 2019 has 96 warnings

       The checking done in ncurses' tic helps with the conversion to termcap,
       as well as pointing out errors and inconsistencies.  It is also used to
       ensure consistency with the user-defined capabilities.  There  are  527
       distinct  capabilities  in ncurses' terminal database; 128 of those are


       X/Open Curses, Issue 7 (2009) provides a brief description of tic.   It
       lists  one  option:  -c.  The omission of -v is unexpected.  The change
       history states that  the  description  is  derived  from  True64  UNIX.
       According  to  its  manual  pages,  that  system  also supported the -v

       Shortly after Issue 7 was released,  Tru64  was  discontinued.   As  of
       2019,  the  surviving  implementations  of tic are SVr4 (AIX, HP-UX and
       Solaris), ncurses and NetBSD curses.

       The X/Open rationale states that some implementations of tic read  ter-
       minal  descriptions  from  the  standard input if the file parameter is
       omitted.  None of these implementations do that.  Further, it  comments
       that some may choose to read from "./terminfo.src" but that is obsoles-
       cent behavior from SVr2, and is not (for example) a documented  feature
       of SVr3.


       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 descrip-
       tion fields may be treated that way and check them for dangerous  char-


       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 any-
       where in the source file, or anywhere in the file tree rooted  at  TER-
       MINFO  (if TERMINFO is defined), or in the user's $HOME/.terminfo data-
       base (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(1m),   captoinfo(1m),   infotocap(1m),   toe(1m),   curses(3x),
       term(5).  terminfo(5).  user_caps(5).

       This describes ncurses version 6.1 (patch 20190727).


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