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RedHat 9 (Linux i386) - man page for dialog (redhat section 1)

DIALOG(1)						      General Commands Manual							 DIALOG(1)

dialog - display dialog boxes from shell scripts
dialog --clear dialog --create-rc file dialog --print-maxsize dialog common-options box-options
Dialog is a program that will let you to present a variety of questions or display messages using dialog boxes from a shell script. These types of dialog boxes are implemented (though not all are necessarily compiled into dialog): calendar, checklist, fselect, gauge, infobox, inputbox, menu, msgbox (message), password, radiolist, tailbox, tailboxbg, textbox, timebox, and yesno (yes/no). You can put more than one dialog box into a script: - Use the --and-widget token to force Dialog to proceed to the next dialog unless you have pressed ESC to cancel, or - Simply add the tokens for the next dialog box, making a chain. Dialog stops chaining when the return code from a dialog is nonzero, e.g., Cancel or No.
Common Options --aspect ratio This gives you some control over the box dimensions when using auto sizing (specifying 0 for height and width). It represents width / height. The default is 9, which means 9 characters wide to every 1 line high. --backtitle backtitle Specifies a backtitle string to be displayed on the backdrop, at the top of the screen. --beep Sound the audible alarm each time the screen is refreshed. --beep-after Beep if input is interrupted, e.g., by a control/C. --begin y x Specify the position of the upper left corner of a dialog box on the screen. --cancel-label string Override the label used for "Cancel" buttons. --clear The screen will be cleared to the screen attribute on exit. This may be used alone, without other options. --colors Interpret embedded "\Z" sequences in the dialog text by the follow character, which tells dialog to set colors or video attributes: 0 through 7 are the ANSI used in curses: black, red, green, yellow, blue, magenta, cyan and white respectively. Bold is set by 'b', reset by 'B'. Reverse is set by 'r', reset by 'R'. Underline is set by 'u', reset by 'U'. The settings are cumulative, e.g., "\Zb\Z1" makes the following text bright red. Restore normal settings with "\Zn". --cr-wrap Interpret embedded newlines in the dialog text as a newline on the screen. Otherwise, dialog will only wrap lines where needed to fit inside the text box. Even though you can control line breaks with this, dialog will still wrap any lines that are too long for the width of the box. Without cr-wrap, the layout of your text may be formatted to look nice in the source code of your script without affecting the way it will look in the dialog. --create-rc file When dialog supports run-time configuration, this can be used to dump a sample configuration file to the file specified by file. --defaultno Make the default value of the yes/no box a No. --default-item string Set the default item in a menu box. Normally the first item in the box is the default. --exit-label string Override the label used for "EXIT" buttons. --extra-button Show an extra button, between ok/cancel and help buttons. --extra-label string Override the label used for "Extra" buttons. --help Prints the help message to standard error. The help message is printed if no options are given. --help-button Show a help-button after ok/cancel buttons, i.e., in checklist, radiolist and menu boxes. If --item-help is also given, on exit the return status will be the same as for the "Ok" button, and the item-help text will be written to standard error after the token "HELP". Otherwise, the return status will indicate that the Help button was pressed, and no message printed. --help-label string Override the label used for "Help" buttons. --ignore Ignore options that dialog does not recognize. Some well-known ones such as "--icon" are ignored anyway, but this is a better choice for compatibility with other implementations. --item-help Interpret the tags data for checklist, radiolist and menu boxes adding a column which is displayed in the bottom line of the screen, for the currently selected item. --max-input size Limit input strings to the given size. If not specified, the limit is 2000. --no-cancel --nocancel Suppress the "Cancel" button in checklist, inputbox and menu box modes. A script can still test if the user pressed the ESC key to cancel to quit. --no-collapse Normally dialog converts tabs to spaces and reduces multiple spaces to a single space for text which is displayed in a message boxes, etc. Use this option to disable that feature. Note that dialog will still wrap text, subject to the --cr-wrap option. --no-kill Tells dialog to put the tailboxbg box in the background, printing its process id to standard error. SIGHUP is disabled for the background process. --no-shadow Suppress shadows that would be drawn to the right and bottom of each dialog box. --ok-label string Override the label used for "OK" buttons. --output-fd fd Direct output to the given file descriptor. Most dialog scripts write to the standard error, but error messages may also be written there, depending on your script. --print-maxsize Print the maximum size of dialog boxes, i.e., the screen size, to the standard error. This may be used alone, without other options. --print-size Prints the size of each dialog box to standard error. --print-version Prints dialog's version to standard error. This may be used alone, without other options. --separate-output For checklist widgets, output result one line at a time, with no quoting. This facilitates parsing by another program. --separate-widget string Specify a string that will separate the output on standard error from each widget. This is used to simplify parsing the result of a dialog with several widgets. If this option is not given, the default separator string is a tab character. --shadow Draw a shadow to the right and bottom of each dialog box. --size-err Check the resulting size of a dialog box before trying to use it, printing the resulting size if it is larger than the screen. (This option is obsolete, since all new-window calls are checked). --sleep secs Sleep (delay) for the given number of seconds after processing a dialog box. --stderr Direct output to the standard error. This is the default, since curses normally writes screen updates to the standard output. --stdout Direct output to the standard output. --tab-correct Convert each tab character to one or more spaces. Otherwise, tabs are rendered according to the curses library's interpretation. --tab-len n Specify the number of spaces that a tab character occupies if the "--tab-correct" option is given. The default is 8. --timeout secs Timeout (exit with error code) if no user response within the given number of seconds. --title title Specifies a title string to be displayed at the top of the dialog box. --trim eliminate leading blanks, trim literal newlines and repeated blanks from message text. --version Same as "--print-version". Box Options All dialog boxes have at least three parameters: text the caption or contents of the box. height the height of the dialog box. width the width of the dialog box. Other parameters depend on the box type. --calendar text height width day month year A calendar box displays month, day and year in separately adjustable windows. If the values for day, month or year are missing or negative, the current date's corresponding values are used. You can increment or decrement any of those using the left-, up-, right- and down-arrows. Use vi-style h, j, k and l for moving around the array of days in a month. Use tab or backtab to move between windows. If the year is given as zero, the current date is used as an initial value. On exit, the date is printed in the form day/month/year. --checklist text height width list-height [ tag item status ] ... A checklist box is similar to a menu box; there are multiple entries presented in the form of a menu. Instead of choosing one entry among the entries, each entry can be turned on or off by the user. The initial on/off state of each entry is specified by status. On exit, a list of the tag strings of those entries that are turned on will be printed on stderr. --fselect filepath height width The file-selection dialog displays a text-entry window in which you can type a filename (or directory), and above that two windows with directory names and filenames. Here filepath can be a filepath in which case the file and directory windows will display the contents of the path and the text- entry window will contain the preselected filename. Use tab or arrow keys to move between the windows. Within the directory or filename windows, use the up/down arrow keys to scroll the current selection. Use the space-bar to copy the current selection into the text-entry window. Typing any printable characters switches focus to the text-entry window, entering that character as well as scrolling the directory and filename windows to the closest match. Use a carriage return or the "OK" button to accept the current value in the text-entry window, or the "Cancel" button to cancel. --gauge text height width [percent] A gauge box displays a meter along the bottom of the box. The meter indicates the percentage. New percentages are read from stan- dard input, one integer per line. The meter is updated to reflect each new percentage. If stdin is XXX, then subsequent lines up to another XXX are used for a new prompt. The gauge exits when EOF is reached on stdin. The percent value denotes the initial percentage shown in the meter. If not specified, it is zero. --infobox text height width An info box is basically a message box. However, in this case, dialog will exit immediately after displaying the message to the user. The screen is not cleared when dialog exits, so that the message will remain on the screen until the calling shell script clears it later. This is useful when you want to inform the user that some operations are carrying on that may require some time to finish. --inputbox text height width [init] An input box is useful when you want to ask questions that require the user to input a string as the answer. If init is supplied it is used to initialize the input string. When entering the string, the BACKSPACE key can be used to correct typing errors. If the input string is longer than can fit in the dialog box, the input field will be scrolled. On exit, the input string will be printed on stderr. --menu text height width menu-height [ tag item ] ... As its name suggests, a menu box is a dialog box that can be used to present a list of choices in the form of a menu for the user to choose. Choices are displayed in the order given. Each menu entry consists of a tag string and an item string. The tag gives the entry a name to distinguish it from the other entries in the menu. The item is a short description of the option that the entry represents. The user can move between the menu entries by pressing the UP/DOWN keys, the first letter of the tag as a hot-key, or the number keys 1-9. There are menu-height entries displayed in the menu at one time, but the menu will be scrolled if there are more entries than that. When dialog exits, the tag of the chosen menu entry will be printed on stderr. If the --help-button option is given, the corresponding help text will be printed if the user selects the help button. --msgbox text height width A message box is very similar to a yes/no box. The only difference between a message box and a yes/no box is that a message box has only a single OK button. You can use this dialog box to display any message you like. After reading the message, the user can press the ENTER key so that dialog will exit and the calling shell script can continue its operation. --passwordbox text height width [init] A password box is similar to an input box, except that the text the user enters is not displayed. This is useful when prompting for passwords or other sensitive information. Be aware that if anything is passed in "init", it will be visible in the system's process table to casual snoopers. Also, it is very confusing to the user to provide them with a default password they cannot see. For these reasons, using "init" is highly discouraged. --radiolist text height width list-height [ tag item status ] ... A radiolist box is similar to a menu box. The only difference is that you can indicate which entry is currently selected, by set- ting its status to on. --tailbox file height width Display text from a file in a dialog box, as in a "tail -f" command. --tailboxbg file height width Display text from a file in a dialog box as a background task, as in a "tail -f &" command. Dialog treats the background task specially if there are other widgets (--and-widget) on the screen concurrently. Until those wid- gets are closed (e.g., an "OK"), dialog will perform all of the tailboxbg widgets in the same process, polling for updates. You may use a tab to traverse between the widgets on the screen, and close them individually, e.g., by pressing ENTER. Once the non-tail- boxbg widgets are closed, dialog forks a copy of itself into the background, and prints its process id if the --no-kill option is given. NOTE: Older versions of dialog forked immediately and attempted to update the screen individually. Besides being bad for perfor- mance, it was unworkable. Some older scripts may not work properly with the polled scheme. --textbox file height width A text box lets you display the contents of a text file in a dialog box. It is like a simple text file viewer. The user can move through the file by using the UP/DOWN, PGUP/PGDN and HOME/END keys available on most keyboards. If the lines are too long to be displayed in the box, the LEFT/RIGHT keys can be used to scroll the text region horizontally. You may also use vi-style keys h, j, k, l in place of the cursor keys, and B or N in place of the pageup/pagedown keys. For more convenience, vi-style forward and back- ward searching functions are also provided. --timebox text height [width hour minute second] A dialog is displayed which allows you to select hour, minute and second. If the values for hour, minute or second are missing or negative, the current date's corresponding values are used. You can increment or decrement any of those using the left-, up-, right- and down-arrows. Use tab or backtab to move between windows. On exit, the result is printed in the form hour:minute:second. --yesno text height width A yes/no dialog box of size height rows by width columns will be displayed. The string specified by text is displayed inside the dialog box. If this string is too long to fit in one line, it will be automatically divided into multiple lines at appropriate places. The text string can also contain the sub-string "\n" or newline characters `\n' to control line breaking explicitly. This dialog box is useful for asking questions that require the user to answer either yes or no. The dialog box has a Yes button and a No button, in which the user can switch between by pressing the TAB key. RUN-TIME CONFIGURATION 1. Create a sample configuration file by typing: "dialog --create-rc <file>" 2. At start, dialog determines the settings to use as follows: a) if environment variable DIALOGRC is set, its value determines the name of the configuration file. b) if the file in (a) is not found, use the file $HOME/.dialogrc as the configuration file. c) if the file in (b) is not found, try using the GLOBALRC file determined at compile-time, i.e., /etc/dialogrc. d) if the file in (c) is not found, use compiled in defaults. 3. Edit the sample configuration file and copy it to some place that dialog can find, as stated in step 2 above.
DIALOGRC Define this variable if you want to specify the name of the configuration file to use. DIALOG_CANCEL DIALOG_ERROR DIALOG_ESC DIALOG_EXTRA DIALOG_HELP DIALOG_OK Define any of these variables to change the exit code on Cancel (1), error (-1), ESC (255), Extra (3), Help (2), or Ok (0). Normally shell scripts cannot distinguish between -1 and 255.
$HOME/.dialogrc default configuration file
Exit status is subject to being overridden by environment variables. Normally they are: 0 if dialog is exited by pressing the Yes or OK button. 1 if the No or Cancel button is pressed. -1 if errors occur inside dialog or dialog is exited by pressing the ESC key.
Savio Lam ( - version 0.3, "dialog" Stuart Herbert ( - patch for version 0.4 Pako ( - version 0.9a, "cdialog", Thomas Dickey (updates for 0.9b) $Date: 2002/08/13 23:28:58 $ DIALOG(1)

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