del_curterm, mvcur, putp, restartterm, set_curterm, setterm, setupterm, tigetflag, tiget-
num, tigetstr, tparm, tputs, vid_attr, vid_puts, vidattr, vidputs - curses interfaces to
int setupterm(char *term, int fildes, int *errret);
int setterm(char *term);
TERMINAL *set_curterm(TERMINAL *nterm);
int del_curterm(TERMINAL *oterm);
int restartterm(const char *term, int fildes, int *errret);
char *tparm(char *str, ...);
int tputs(const char *str, int affcnt, int (*putc)(int));
int putp(const char *str);
int vidputs(chtype attrs, int (*putc)(int));
int vidattr(chtype attrs);
int vid_puts(attr_t attrs, short pair, void *opts, int (*putc)(char));
int vid_attr(attr_t attrs, short pair, void *opts);
int mvcur(int oldrow, int oldcol, int newrow, int newcol);
int tigetflag(char *capname);
int tigetnum(char *capname);
char *tigetstr(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
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 ter-
minfo(5)]. The terminfo variables lines and columns are initialized by setupterm as fol-
lows: If use_env(FALSE) has been called, values for lines and columns specified in ter-
minfo 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 defini-
tions 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(3X)]. Programs which use cursor addressing should output
enter_ca_mode upon startup and should output exit_ca_mode before exiting. Programs desir-
ing 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 struc-
tures, but does not set up the output virtualization structures used by curses. The ter-
minal 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, hav-
ing too little information for curses applications to run.
-1 means that the terminfo database could not be found.
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 stdout.
The setterm routine is being replaced by setupterm. The call:
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
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(3X). 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 vid_attr and vid_puts routines correspond to vidattr and vidputs, respectively. They
use a set of arguments for representing the video attributes plus color, i.e., one of type
attr_t for the attributes and one of short for the color_pair number. The vid_attr and
vid_puts routines are designed to use the attribute constants with the WA_ prefix. The
opts argument is reserved for future use. Currently, applications must provide a null
pointer for that argument.
The mvcur routine provides low-level cursor motion. It takes effect immediately (rather
than at the next refresh).
The tigetflag, tigetnum and tigetstr routines return the value of the capability corre-
sponding to the terminfo capname 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 capname 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 terminfo(5).
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 terminfo variables.
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
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. This implementation uses a variable argument list. Portable
applications should provide 9 parameters after the format; zeroes are fine for this pur-
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(3X), curs_initscr(3X), curs_kernel(3X), curs_termcap(3X), putc(3S), terminfo(5)