tput 1

tput(1)                     General Commands Manual                    tput(1)


       tput, reset - initialize a terminal or query terminfo database


       tput [-Ttype] capname [parameters]
       tput [-Ttype] [-x] clear
       tput [-Ttype] init
       tput [-Ttype] reset
       tput [-Ttype] longname
       tput -S  <<
       tput -V


       The  tput utility uses the terminfo database to make the values of ter-
       minal-dependent capabilities and information  available  to  the  shell
       (see  sh(1)),  to  initialize or reset the terminal, or return the long
       name of the requested terminal type.  The result depends upon the capa-
       bility's type:

               tput  writes  the  string  to the standard output.  No trailing
               newline is supplied.

               tput writes the decimal value to the standard  output,  with  a
               trailing newline.

               tput  simply sets the exit code (0 for TRUE if the terminal has
               the capability, 1 for FALSE if it does not), and writes nothing
               to the standard output.

       Before  using  a value returned on the standard output, the application
       should test the exit code (e.g., $?, see sh(1)) to be  sure  it  is  0.
       (See  the EXIT CODES and DIAGNOSTICS sections.)  For a complete list of
       capabilities and the capname associated with each, see terminfo(5).


       -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 example).  Only  one  cap-
              name  is allowed per line.  The -S option changes the meaning of
              the 0 and 1 boolean and string exit codes (see  the  EXIT  CODES

              Because  some capabilities may use string parameters rather than
              numbers, tput uses a table and the presence of parameters in its
              input  to  decide whether to use tparm(3x), and how to interpret
              the parameters.

       -Ttype indicates the type of terminal.  Normally this option is  unnec-
              essary,  because the default is taken from the environment vari-
              able TERM.  If -T is specified, then the shell  variables  LINES
              and COLUMNS will also be ignored.

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

       -x     do not attempt to clear the terminal's scrollback  buffer  using
              the extended "E3" capability.


       A few commands (init, reset and longname) are special; they are defined
       by the tput program.  The others are the names of capabilities from the
       terminal  database  (see  terminfo(5)  for  a list).  Although init and
       reset resemble capability names, tput uses several capabilities to per-
       form these special functions.

              indicates the capability from the terminal database.

              If  the  capability is a string that takes parameters, the argu-
              ments following the capability will be used  as  parameters  for
              the string.

              Most  parameters  are numbers.  Only a few terminal capabilities
              require string parameters; tput uses a table to decide which  to
              pass  as  strings.   Normally tput uses tparm(3x) to perform the
              substitution.  If no parameters are given  for  the  capability,
              tput writes the string without performing the substitution.

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

              (1)  first, tput retrieves the current  terminal  mode  settings
                   for your terminal.  It does this by successively testing

                   o   the standard error,

                   o   standard output,

                   o   standard input and

                   o   ultimately "/dev/tty"

                   to  obtain  terminal settings.  Having retrieved these set-
                   tings, tput remembers which file  descriptor  to  use  when
                   updating settings.

              (2)  if  the  window  size cannot be obtained from the operating
                   system, but the terminal description (or environment, e.g.,
                   LINES and COLUMNS variables specify this), update the oper-
                   ating system's notion of the window size.

              (3)  the terminal modes will be updated:

                   o   any delays (e.g., newline) specified in the entry  will
                       be set in the tty driver,

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

                   o   if tabs are not expanded, standard  tabs  will  be  set
                       (every 8 spaces).

              (4)  if  present,  the terminal's initialization strings will be
                   output as detailed in the terminfo(5) section on  Tabs  and

              (5)  output is flushed.

              If  an  entry does not contain the information needed for any of
              these activities, that activity will silently be skipped.

       reset  This is similar to init, with two differences:

              (1)  before any other initialization, the terminal modes will be
                   reset to a "sane" state:

                   o   set cooked and echo modes,

                   o   turn off cbreak and raw modes,

                   o   turn on newline translation and

                   o   reset  any  unset  special  characters to their default

              (2)  Instead of putting out initialization strings,  the  termi-
                   nal's  reset  strings  will be output if present (rs1, rs2,
                   rs3, rf).  If the reset strings are not present,  but  ini-
                   tialization strings are, the initialization strings will be

              Otherwise, reset acts identically to init.

              If the terminal 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 data-
              base [see term(5)].


       tput handles the clear, init and reset commands  specially:  it  allows
       for the possibility that it is invoked by a link with those names.

       If  tput  is invoked by a link named reset, this has the same effect as
       tput reset.  The tset(1) utility also treats a link  named  reset  spe-

       Before ncurses 6.1, the two utilities were different from each other:

       o   tset  utility  reset the terminal modes and special characters (not
           done with tput).

       o   On the other hand, tset's repertoire of terminal  capabilities  for
           resetting  the terminal was more limited, i.e., only reset_1string,
           reset_2string and reset_file in contrast to the tab-stops and  mar-
           gins which are set by this utility.

       o   The  reset  program  is  usually an alias for tset, because of this
           difference with resetting terminal modes and special characters.

       With the changes made for ncurses 6.1, the reset  feature  of  the  two
       programs is (mostly) the same.  A few differences remain:

       o   The  tset  program waits one second when resetting, in case it hap-
           pens to be a hardware terminal.

       o   The two programs write the terminal initialization strings to  dif-
           ferent streams (i.e.,. the standard error for tset and the standard
           output for tput).

           Note: although these programs write to different streams, redirect-
           ing their output to a file will capture only part of their actions.
           The changes to the terminal modes are not affected  by  redirecting
           the output.

       If  tput  is  invoked by a link named init, this has the same effect as
       tput init.  Again, you are less likely to use that link because another
       program named init has a more well-established use.


       tput init
            Initialize  the  terminal according to the type of terminal in the
            environmental variable TERM.  This command should be  included  in
            everyone's .profile after the environmental variable TERM has been
            exported, as illustrated on the profile(5) manual page.

       tput -T5620 reset
            Reset an AT&T 5620 terminal, overriding the type  of  terminal  in
            the environmental variable TERM.

       tput cup 0 0
            Send the sequence to move the cursor to row 0, column 0 (the upper
            left corner of the screen, usually  known  as  the  "home"  cursor

       tput clear
            Echo the clear-screen sequence for the current terminal.

       tput cols
            Print the number of columns for the current terminal.

       tput -T450 cols
            Print the number of columns for the 450 terminal.

       bold=`tput smso` offbold=`tput rmso`
            Set  the  shell  variables bold, to begin stand-out mode sequence,
            and offbold, to end standout mode sequence, for the current termi-
            nal.  This might be followed by a prompt: echo "${bold}Please type
            in your name: ${offbold}\c"

       tput hc
            Set exit code to indicate if the current terminal is a  hard  copy

       tput cup 23 4
            Send the sequence to move the cursor to row 23, column 4.

       tput cup
            Send  the  terminfo string for cursor-movement, with no parameters

       tput longname
            Print the long name from the terminfo database  for  the  type  of
            terminal specified in the environmental variable TERM.

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

            This  example  shows  tput  processing several capabilities in one
            invocation.  It clears the screen, moves the  cursor  to  position
            10,  10 and turns on bold (extra bright) mode.  The list is termi-
            nated by an exclamation mark (!) on a line by itself.


              compiled terminal description database

              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(5)


       If the -S option is used, tput checks for errors from each line, and if
       any errors are found, will set the exit code to 4 plus  the  number  of
       lines  with  errors.   If  no errors are found, the exit code is 0.  No
       indication of which line failed can be given so exit code 1 will  never
       appear.   Exit codes 2, 3, and 4 retain their usual interpretation.  If
       the -S option is not used, the exit code depends on the  type  of  cap-

                 a value of 0 is set for TRUE and 1 for FALSE.

          string a value of 0 is set if the capname is defined for this termi-
                 nal type (the value of capname is returned on  standard  out-
                 put);  a value of 1 is set if capname is not defined for this
                 terminal type (nothing is written to standard output).

                 a value of 0 is always set, whether or not capname is defined
                 for  this  terminal type.  To determine if capname is defined
                 for this terminal type, the user must test the value  written
                 to  standard output.  A value of -1 means that capname is not
                 defined for this terminal type.

          other  reset or init may fail to find their  respective  files.   In
                 that case, the exit code is set to 4 + errno.

       Any other exit code indicates an error; see the DIAGNOSTICS section.


       tput  prints  the  following  error messages and sets the corresponding
       exit codes.

       exit code   error message
       0           (capname is a numeric variable that is not specified  in
                   the  terminfo(5)  database  for this terminal type, e.g.
                   tput -T450 lines and tput -T2621 xmc)
       1           no error message is printed, see the EXIT CODES section.
       2           usage error
       3           unknown terminal type or no terminfo database
       4           unknown terminfo capability capname
       >4          error occurred in -S


       The tput command was begun by Bill Joy in 1980.   The  initial  version
       only cleared the screen.

       AT&T  System  V provided a different tput command, whose init and reset
       subcommands (more than half the program)  were  incorporated  from  the
       reset feature of BSD tset written by Eric Allman.

       Keith Bostic replaced the BSD tput command in 1989 with a new implemen-
       tation based on the AT&T System V program tput.  Like the AT&T program,
       Bostic's  version accepted some parameters named for terminfo capabili-
       ties (clear, init, longname and reset).  However (because he  had  only
       termcap  available),  it accepted termcap names for other capabilities.
       Also, Bostic's BSD tput did not modify the terminal I/O  modes  as  the
       earlier BSD tset had done.

       At the same time, Bostic added a shell script named "clear", which used
       tput to clear the screen.

       Both of these appeared in 4.4BSD, becoming the "modern" BSD implementa-
       tion of tput.

       This  implementation of tput began from a different source than AT&T or
       BSD: Ross Ridge's mytinfo package, published  on  comp.sources.unix  in
       December 1992.  Ridge's program made more sophisticated use of the ter-
       minal capabilities than the BSD program.  Eric Raymond  used  the  tput
       program  (and  other  parts of mytinfo) in ncurses in June 1995.  Using
       the portions dealing with terminal capabilities almost without  change,
       Raymond  made  improvements to the way the command-line parameters were


       This implementation of tput differs from AT&T  tput  in  two  important

       o   tput  capname  writes  to  the standard output.  That need not be a
           regular terminal.  However, the subcommands which manipulate termi-
           nal modes may not use the standard output.

           The  AT&T  implementation's  init  and  reset  commands use the BSD
           (4.1c) tset source, which manipulates terminal modes.   It  succes-
           sively tries standard output, standard error, standard input before
           falling back to "/dev/tty" and finally just assumes a 1200Bd termi-
           nal.  When updating terminal modes, it ignores errors.

           Until  changes made after ncurses 6.0, tput did not modify terminal
           modes.  tput now uses a similar scheme, using functions shared with
           tset  (and ultimately based on the 4.4BSD tset).  If it is not able
           to open a terminal, e.g., when running in cron, tput will return an

       o   AT&T tput guesses the type of its capname operands by seeing if all
           of the characters are numeric, or not.

           Most implementations which provide support for capname operands use
           the  tparm  function  to  expand  parameters  in it.  That function
           expects a mixture of numeric and string parameters, requiring  tput
           to know which type to use.

           This  implementation  uses a table to determine the parameter types
           for the standard capname operands, and an internal library function
           to analyze nonstandard capname operands.

       This  implementation  (unlike  others) can accept both termcap and ter-
       minfo names for the capname feature, if termcap support is compiled in.
       However, the predefined termcap and terminfo names have two ambiguities
       in this case (and the terminfo name is assumed):

       o   The termcap name dl corresponds to the terminfo  name  dl1  (delete
           one line).
           The  terminfo  name dl corresponds to the termcap name DL (delete a
           given number of lines).

       o   The termcap name ed corresponds to  the  terminfo  name  rmdc  (end
           delete mode).
           The  terminfo  name ed corresponds to the termcap name cd (clear to
           end of screen).

       The longname and -S options, and  the  parameter-substitution  features
       used  in  the  cup  example,  were  not  supported in BSD curses before
       4.3reno (1989) or in AT&T/USL curses before SVr4 (1988).

       IEEE  Std  1003.1/The  Open  Group    Base   Specifications   Issue   7
       (POSIX.1-2008)  documents  only the operands for clear, init and reset.
       There are a few interesting observations to make regarding that:

       o   In this implementation, clear is part of the capname support.   The
           others  (init and longname) do not correspond to terminal capabili-

       o   Other  implementations  of  tput  on  SVr4-based  systems  such  as
           Solaris,  IRIX64  and  HPUX as well as others such as AIX and Tru64
           provide support for capname operands.

       o   A few platforms such as FreeBSD recognize termcap names rather than
           terminfo capability names in their respective tput commands.  Since
           2010, NetBSD's tput uses terminfo names.   Before  that,  it  (like
           FreeBSD) recognized termcap names.

       Because (apparently) all of the certified Unix systems support the full
       set of capability names, the reasoning for documenting only a  few  may
       not be apparent.

       o   X/Open  Curses Issue 7 documents tput differently, with capname and
           the other features used in this implementation.

       o   That is, there are two standards for tput:  POSIX  (a  subset)  and
           X/Open  Curses (the full implementation).  POSIX documents a subset
           to avoid the complication of including X/Open Curses and the termi-
           nal capabilities database.

       o   While  it  is  certainly  possible  to write a tput program without
           using curses, none of the systems which have a  curses  implementa-
           tion provide a tput utility which does not provide the capname fea-


       clear(1), stty(1), tabs(1), tset(1), terminfo(5), curs_termcap(3x).

       This describes ncurses version 6.0 (patch 20171216).