Skip site navigation (1)Skip section navigation (2)

FreeBSD Man Pages

Man Page or Keyword Search:
Man Architecture
Apropos Keyword Search (all sections) Output format
home | help
ncurses(3X)							   ncurses(3X)

NAME
       ncurses - CRT screen handling and optimization package

SYNOPSIS
       #include	<curses.h>

DESCRIPTION
       The  ncurses  library  routines	give  the  user	a terminal-independent
       method of updating  character  screens  with  reasonable	 optimization.
       This  implementation  is	 ``new	curses'' (ncurses) and is the approved
       replacement for 4.4BSD classic curses,  which  has  been	 discontinued.
       This describes ncurses version 5.7 (patch 20081102).

       The ncurses library emulates the	curses(3X) library of System V Release
       4 UNIX, and XPG4	(X/Open	Portability Guide) curses (also	known  as  XSI
       curses).	  XSI  stands  for  X/Open  System  Interfaces Extension.  The
       ncurses library is freely redistributable in source form.   Differences
       from  the SVr4 curses are summarized under the EXTENSIONS and PORTABIL-
       ITY sections below and described	in detail  in  the  respective	EXTEN-
       SIONS, PORTABILITY and BUGS sections of individual man pages.

       The  ncurses  library  also provides many useful	extensions, i.e., fea-
       tures which cannot be implemented by a simple add-on library but	 which
       require access to the internals of the library.

       A  program  using  these	 routines  must	 be  linked with the -lncurses
       option, or (if it  has  been  generated)	 with  the  debugging  library
       -lncurses_g.   (Your  system  integrator	 may also have installed these
       libraries under the names  -lcurses  and	 -lcurses_g.)	The  ncurses_g
       library	generates  trace logs (in a file called	'trace'	in the current
       directory) that describe	curses	actions.   See	also  the  section  on
       ALTERNATE CONFIGURATIONS.

       The  ncurses package supports: overall screen, window and pad manipula-
       tion; output to windows and pads; reading terminal input; control  over
       terminal	 and  curses  input and	output options;	environment query rou-
       tines; color manipulation; use of soft label keys;  terminfo  capabili-
       ties; and access	to low-level terminal-manipulation routines.

       The  library uses the locale which the calling program has initialized.
       That is normally	done with setlocale:

	     setlocale(LC_ALL, "");

       If the locale is	not initialized, the library assumes  that  characters
       are  printable  as in ISO-8859-1, to work with certain legacy programs.
       You should initialize the locale	and not	rely on	 specific  details  of
       the library when	the locale has not been	setup.

       The  function  initscr  or  newterm  must  be  called to	initialize the
       library before any of the other routines	that  deal  with  windows  and
       screens are used.  The routine endwin must be called before exiting.

       To  get	character-at-a-time  input  without echoing (most interactive,
       screen oriented programs	want this), the	following sequence  should  be
       used:

	     initscr();	cbreak(); noecho();

       Most programs would additionally	use the	sequence:

	     nonl();
	     intrflush(stdscr, FALSE);
	     keypad(stdscr, TRUE);

       Before a	curses program is run, the tab stops of	the terminal should be
       set and its initialization strings, if defined, must be	output.	  This
       can be done by executing	the tput init command after the	shell environ-
       ment variable TERM has been exported.  tset(1) is  usually  responsible
       for doing this.	[See terminfo(5) for further details.]

       The  ncurses  library  permits  manipulation of data structures,	called
       windows,	which can be thought of	as two-dimensional arrays  of  charac-
       ters representing all or	part of	a CRT screen.  A default window	called
       stdscr, which is	the size of the	terminal screen, is supplied.	Others
       may be created with newwin.

       Note  that  curses  does	not handle overlapping windows,	that's done by
       the panel(3X) library.  This means that you can either  use  stdscr  or
       divide the screen into tiled windows and	not using stdscr at all.  Mix-
       ing the two will	result in unpredictable, and undesired,	effects.

       Windows are referred to by variables declared as	WINDOW *.  These  data
       structures  are	manipulated with routines described here and elsewhere
       in the ncurses manual pages.  Among those, the most basic routines  are
       move  and  addch.  More general versions	of these routines are included
       with names beginning with w, allowing the user  to  specify  a  window.
       The routines not	beginning with w affect	stdscr.

       After using routines to manipulate a window, refresh is called, telling
       curses to make the user's CRT screen look like stdscr.  The  characters
       in a window are actually	of type	chtype,	(character and attribute data)
       so that other information about the character may also be  stored  with
       each character.

       Special windows called pads may also be manipulated.  These are windows
       which are not constrained to the	size of	the screen and whose  contents
       need  not  be completely	displayed.  See	curs_pad(3X) for more informa-
       tion.

       In addition to drawing characters on the	screen,	video  attributes  and
       colors  may  be	supported,  causing  the characters to show up in such
       modes as	underlined, in reverse video, or in color  on  terminals  that
       support	such  display  enhancements.   Line  drawing characters	may be
       specified to be output.	On input, curses is  also  able	 to  translate
       arrow and function keys that transmit escape sequences into single val-
       ues.  The video attributes, line	drawing	characters, and	 input	values
       use  names,  defined  in	 <curses.h>, such as A_REVERSE,	ACS_HLINE, and
       KEY_LEFT.

       If the environment variables LINES and COLUMNS are set, or if the  pro-
       gram  is	executing in a window environment, line	and column information
       in the environment will override	information read  by  terminfo.	  This
       would affect a program running in an AT&T 630 layer, for	example, where
       the size	of a screen is changeable (see ENVIRONMENT).

       If the environment variable TERMINFO  is	 defined,  any	program	 using
       curses  checks  for  a local terminal definition	before checking	in the
       standard	place.	For example, if	TERM is	set to att4424,	then the  com-
       piled terminal definition is found in

	     /usr/share/misc/terminfo/a/att4424.

       (The  a is copied from the first	letter of att4424 to avoid creation of
       huge directories.)  However,  if	 TERMINFO  is  set  to	$HOME/myterms,
       curses first checks

	     $HOME/myterms/a/att4424,

       and if that fails, it then checks

	     /usr/share/misc/terminfo/a/att4424.

       This  is	 useful	 for developing	experimental definitions or when write
       permission in /usr/share/misc/terminfo is not available.

       The integer variables LINES and COLS are	defined	in <curses.h> and will
       be  filled  in  by  initscr with	the size of the	screen.	 The constants
       TRUE and	FALSE have the values 1	and 0, respectively.

       The curses routines also	define the WINDOW * variable curscr  which  is
       used  for  certain  low-level  operations like clearing and redrawing a
       screen containing garbage.  The curscr can be used in only a  few  rou-
       tines.

   Routine and Argument	Names
       Many  curses routines have two or more versions.	 The routines prefixed
       with w require a	window argument.  The routines prefixed	with p require
       a pad argument.	Those without a	prefix generally use stdscr.

       The  routines  prefixed with mv require a y and x coordinate to move to
       before performing the appropriate action.  The mv routines imply	a call
       to  move	before the call	to the other routine.  The coordinate y	always
       refers to the row (of the window), and x	always refers to  the  column.
       The upper left-hand corner is always (0,0), not (1,1).

       The  routines prefixed with mvw take both a window argument and x and y
       coordinates.  The window	argument is always specified before the	 coor-
       dinates.

       In  each	case, win is the window	affected, and pad is the pad affected;
       win and pad are always pointers to type WINDOW.

       Option setting routines require a Boolean flag bf with the  value  TRUE
       or  FALSE;  bf  is always of type bool.	Most of	the data types used in
       the library routines, such as WINDOW,  SCREEN,  bool,  and  chtype  are
       defined	in  <curses.h>.	  Types	used for the terminfo routines such as
       TERMINAL	are defined in <term.h>.

       This manual page	describes functions which may appear in	any configura-
       tion  of	 the  library.	 There	are  two  common configurations	of the
       library:

	      ncurses
		   the "normal"	library, which handles 8-bit characters.   The
		   normal  (8-bit)  library  stores  characters	 combined with
		   attributes in chtype	data.

		   Attributes alone (no	corresponding character) may be	stored
		   in  chtype  or the equivalent attr_t	data.  In either case,
		   the data is stored in something like	an integer.

		   Each	cell (row and column) in  a  WINDOW  is	 stored	 as  a
		   chtype.

	      ncursesw
		   the so-called "wide"	library, which handles multibyte char-
		   acters (See the section on ALTERNATE	CONFIGURATIONS).   The
		   "wide"  library includes all	of the calls from the "normal"
		   library.  It	adds about one third  more  calls  using  data
		   types which store multibyte characters:

		   cchar_t
			corresponds  to	 chtype.   However  it is a structure,
			because	more data is stored than can fit into an inte-
			ger.   The  characters	are  large enough to require a
			full integer value - and there may be  more  than  one
			character  per	cell.	The video attributes and color
			are stored in separate fields of the structure.

			Each cell (row and column) in a	WINDOW is stored as  a
			cchar_t.

		   wchar_t
			stores	a  "wide" character.  Like chtype, this	may be
			an integer.

		   wint_t
			stores a wchar_t or WEOF - not the same,  though  both
			may have the same size.

		   The	"wide" library provides	new functions which are	analo-
		   gous	to functions in	the "normal" library.  There is	a nam-
		   ing	convention which relates many of the normal/wide vari-
		   ants: a "_w"	is inserted into the name.  For	example,  wad-
		   dch becomes wadd_wch.

   Routine Name	Index
       The  following table lists each curses routine and the name of the man-
       ual page	on which it is	described.   Routines  flagged	with  `*'  are
       ncurses-specific, not described by XPG4 or present in SVr4.

		     curses Routine Name     Manual Page Name
		     --------------------------------------------
		     COLOR_PAIR		     curs_color(3X)
		     PAIR_NUMBER	     curs_attr(3X)
		     _nc_free_and_exit	     curs_memleaks(3X)*
		     _nc_freeall	     curs_memleaks(3X)*
		     _nc_tracebits	     curs_trace(3X)*
		     _traceattr		     curs_trace(3X)*
		     _traceattr2	     curs_trace(3X)*
		     _tracechar		     curs_trace(3X)*
		     _tracechtype	     curs_trace(3X)*
		     _tracechtype2	     curs_trace(3X)*
		     _tracedump		     curs_trace(3X)*
		     _tracef		     curs_trace(3X)*
		     _tracemouse	     curs_trace(3X)*
		     add_wch		     curs_add_wch(3X)
		     add_wchnstr	     curs_add_wchstr(3X)
		     add_wchstr		     curs_add_wchstr(3X)
		     addch		     curs_addch(3X)
		     addchnstr		     curs_addchstr(3X)
		     addchstr		     curs_addchstr(3X)
		     addnstr		     curs_addstr(3X)
		     addnwstr		     curs_addwstr(3X)
		     addstr		     curs_addstr(3X)
		     addwstr		     curs_addwstr(3X)
		     assume_default_colors   default_colors(3X)*
		     attr_get		     curs_attr(3X)
		     attr_off		     curs_attr(3X)
		     attr_on		     curs_attr(3X)
		     attr_set		     curs_attr(3X)
		     attroff		     curs_attr(3X)
		     attron		     curs_attr(3X)
		     attrset		     curs_attr(3X)
		     baudrate		     curs_termattrs(3X)
		     beep		     curs_beep(3X)
		     bkgd		     curs_bkgd(3X)
		     bkgdset		     curs_bkgd(3X)

		     bkgrnd		     curs_bkgrnd(3X)
		     bkgrndset		     curs_bkgrnd(3X)
		     border		     curs_border(3X)
		     border_set		     curs_border_set(3X)
		     box		     curs_border(3X)
		     box_set		     curs_border_set(3X)
		     can_change_color	     curs_color(3X)
		     cbreak		     curs_inopts(3X)
		     chgat		     curs_attr(3X)
		     clear		     curs_clear(3X)
		     clearok		     curs_outopts(3X)
		     clrtobot		     curs_clear(3X)
		     clrtoeol		     curs_clear(3X)
		     color_content	     curs_color(3X)
		     color_set		     curs_attr(3X)
		     copywin		     curs_overlay(3X)
		     curs_set		     curs_kernel(3X)
		     curses_version	     curs_extend(3X)*
		     def_prog_mode	     curs_kernel(3X)
		     def_shell_mode	     curs_kernel(3X)
		     define_key		     define_key(3X)*
		     del_curterm	     curs_terminfo(3X)
		     delay_output	     curs_util(3X)
		     delch		     curs_delch(3X)
		     deleteln		     curs_deleteln(3X)
		     delscreen		     curs_initscr(3X)
		     delwin		     curs_window(3X)
		     derwin		     curs_window(3X)
		     doupdate		     curs_refresh(3X)
		     dupwin		     curs_window(3X)
		     echo		     curs_inopts(3X)
		     echo_wchar		     curs_add_wch(3X)
		     echochar		     curs_addch(3X)
		     endwin		     curs_initscr(3X)
		     erase		     curs_clear(3X)
		     erasechar		     curs_termattrs(3X)
		     erasewchar		     curs_termattrs(3X)
		     filter		     curs_util(3X)
		     flash		     curs_beep(3X)
		     flushinp		     curs_util(3X)
		     get_wch		     curs_get_wch(3X)
		     get_wstr		     curs_get_wstr(3X)
		     getattrs		     curs_attr(3X)
		     getbegx		     curs_legacy(3X)*
		     getbegy		     curs_legacy(3X)*
		     getbegyx		     curs_getyx(3X)
		     getbkgd		     curs_bkgd(3X)
		     getbkgrnd		     curs_bkgrnd(3X)
		     getcchar		     curs_getcchar(3X)
		     getch		     curs_getch(3X)
		     getcurx		     curs_legacy(3X)*
		     getcury		     curs_legacy(3X)*
		     getmaxx		     curs_legacy(3X)*
		     getmaxy		     curs_legacy(3X)*
		     getmaxyx		     curs_getyx(3X)
		     getmouse		     curs_mouse(3X)*
		     getn_wstr		     curs_get_wstr(3X)
		     getnstr		     curs_getstr(3X)
		     getparx		     curs_legacy(3X)*
		     getpary		     curs_legacy(3X)*
		     getparyx		     curs_getyx(3X)
		     getstr		     curs_getstr(3X)
		     getsyx		     curs_kernel(3X)
		     getwin		     curs_util(3X)
		     getyx		     curs_getyx(3X)
		     halfdelay		     curs_inopts(3X)

		     has_colors		     curs_color(3X)
		     has_ic		     curs_termattrs(3X)
		     has_il		     curs_termattrs(3X)
		     has_key		     curs_getch(3X)*
		     hline		     curs_border(3X)
		     hline_set		     curs_border_set(3X)
		     idcok		     curs_outopts(3X)
		     idlok		     curs_outopts(3X)
		     immedok		     curs_outopts(3X)
		     in_wch		     curs_in_wch(3X)
		     in_wchnstr		     curs_in_wchstr(3X)
		     in_wchstr		     curs_in_wchstr(3X)
		     inch		     curs_inch(3X)
		     inchnstr		     curs_inchstr(3X)
		     inchstr		     curs_inchstr(3X)
		     init_color		     curs_color(3X)
		     init_pair		     curs_color(3X)
		     initscr		     curs_initscr(3X)
		     innstr		     curs_instr(3X)
		     innwstr		     curs_inwstr(3X)
		     ins_nwstr		     curs_ins_wstr(3X)
		     ins_wch		     curs_ins_wch(3X)
		     ins_wstr		     curs_ins_wstr(3X)
		     insch		     curs_insch(3X)
		     insdelln		     curs_deleteln(3X)
		     insertln		     curs_deleteln(3X)
		     insnstr		     curs_insstr(3X)
		     insstr		     curs_insstr(3X)
		     instr		     curs_instr(3X)
		     intrflush		     curs_inopts(3X)
		     inwstr		     curs_inwstr(3X)
		     is_cleared		     curs_opaque(3X)*
		     is_idcok		     curs_opaque(3X)*
		     is_idlok		     curs_opaque(3X)*
		     is_immedok		     curs_opaque(3X)*
		     is_keypad		     curs_opaque(3X)*
		     is_leaveok		     curs_opaque(3X)*
		     is_linetouched	     curs_touch(3X)
		     is_nodelay		     curs_opaque(3X)*
		     is_notimeout	     curs_opaque(3X)*
		     is_scrollok	     curs_opaque(3X)*
		     is_syncok		     curs_opaque(3X)*
		     is_term_resized	     resizeterm(3X)*
		     is_wintouched	     curs_touch(3X)
		     isendwin		     curs_initscr(3X)
		     key_defined	     key_defined(3X)*
		     key_name		     curs_util(3X)
		     keybound		     keybound(3X)*
		     keyname		     curs_util(3X)
		     keyok		     keyok(3X)*
		     keypad		     curs_inopts(3X)
		     killchar		     curs_termattrs(3X)
		     killwchar		     curs_termattrs(3X)
		     leaveok		     curs_outopts(3X)
		     longname		     curs_termattrs(3X)
		     mcprint		     curs_print(3X)*
		     meta		     curs_inopts(3X)
		     mouse_trafo	     curs_mouse(3X)*
		     mouseinterval	     curs_mouse(3X)*
		     mousemask		     curs_mouse(3X)*
		     move		     curs_move(3X)
		     mvadd_wch		     curs_add_wch(3X)
		     mvadd_wchnstr	     curs_add_wchstr(3X)
		     mvadd_wchstr	     curs_add_wchstr(3X)
		     mvaddch		     curs_addch(3X)
		     mvaddchnstr	     curs_addchstr(3X)

		     mvaddchstr		     curs_addchstr(3X)
		     mvaddnstr		     curs_addstr(3X)
		     mvaddnwstr		     curs_addwstr(3X)
		     mvaddstr		     curs_addstr(3X)
		     mvaddwstr		     curs_addwstr(3X)
		     mvchgat		     curs_attr(3X)
		     mvcur		     curs_terminfo(3X)
		     mvdelch		     curs_delch(3X)
		     mvderwin		     curs_window(3X)
		     mvget_wch		     curs_get_wch(3X)
		     mvget_wstr		     curs_get_wstr(3X)
		     mvgetch		     curs_getch(3X)
		     mvgetn_wstr	     curs_get_wstr(3X)
		     mvgetnstr		     curs_getstr(3X)
		     mvgetstr		     curs_getstr(3X)
		     mvhline		     curs_border(3X)
		     mvhline_set	     curs_border_set(3X)
		     mvin_wch		     curs_in_wch(3X)
		     mvin_wchnstr	     curs_in_wchstr(3X)
		     mvin_wchstr	     curs_in_wchstr(3X)
		     mvinch		     curs_inch(3X)
		     mvinchnstr		     curs_inchstr(3X)
		     mvinchstr		     curs_inchstr(3X)
		     mvinnstr		     curs_instr(3X)
		     mvinnwstr		     curs_inwstr(3X)
		     mvins_nwstr	     curs_ins_wstr(3X)
		     mvins_wch		     curs_ins_wch(3X)
		     mvins_wstr		     curs_ins_wstr(3X)
		     mvinsch		     curs_insch(3X)
		     mvinsnstr		     curs_insstr(3X)
		     mvinsstr		     curs_insstr(3X)
		     mvinstr		     curs_instr(3X)
		     mvinwstr		     curs_inwstr(3X)
		     mvprintw		     curs_printw(3X)
		     mvscanw		     curs_scanw(3X)
		     mvvline		     curs_border(3X)
		     mvvline_set	     curs_border_set(3X)
		     mvwadd_wch		     curs_add_wch(3X)
		     mvwadd_wchnstr	     curs_add_wchstr(3X)
		     mvwadd_wchstr	     curs_add_wchstr(3X)
		     mvwaddch		     curs_addch(3X)
		     mvwaddchnstr	     curs_addchstr(3X)
		     mvwaddchstr	     curs_addchstr(3X)
		     mvwaddnstr		     curs_addstr(3X)
		     mvwaddnwstr	     curs_addwstr(3X)
		     mvwaddstr		     curs_addstr(3X)
		     mvwaddwstr		     curs_addwstr(3X)
		     mvwchgat		     curs_attr(3X)
		     mvwdelch		     curs_delch(3X)
		     mvwget_wch		     curs_get_wch(3X)
		     mvwget_wstr	     curs_get_wstr(3X)
		     mvwgetch		     curs_getch(3X)
		     mvwgetn_wstr	     curs_get_wstr(3X)
		     mvwgetnstr		     curs_getstr(3X)
		     mvwgetstr		     curs_getstr(3X)
		     mvwhline		     curs_border(3X)
		     mvwhline_set	     curs_border_set(3X)
		     mvwin		     curs_window(3X)
		     mvwin_wch		     curs_in_wch(3X)
		     mvwin_wchnstr	     curs_in_wchstr(3X)
		     mvwin_wchstr	     curs_in_wchstr(3X)
		     mvwinch		     curs_inch(3X)
		     mvwinchnstr	     curs_inchstr(3X)
		     mvwinchstr		     curs_inchstr(3X)
		     mvwinnstr		     curs_instr(3X)
		     mvwinnwstr		     curs_inwstr(3X)

		     mvwins_nwstr	     curs_ins_wstr(3X)
		     mvwins_wch		     curs_ins_wch(3X)
		     mvwins_wstr	     curs_ins_wstr(3X)
		     mvwinsch		     curs_insch(3X)
		     mvwinsnstr		     curs_insstr(3X)
		     mvwinsstr		     curs_insstr(3X)
		     mvwinstr		     curs_instr(3X)
		     mvwinwstr		     curs_inwstr(3X)
		     mvwprintw		     curs_printw(3X)
		     mvwscanw		     curs_scanw(3X)
		     mvwvline		     curs_border(3X)
		     mvwvline_set	     curs_border_set(3X)
		     napms		     curs_kernel(3X)
		     newpad		     curs_pad(3X)
		     newterm		     curs_initscr(3X)
		     newwin		     curs_window(3X)
		     nl			     curs_outopts(3X)
		     nocbreak		     curs_inopts(3X)
		     nodelay		     curs_inopts(3X)
		     noecho		     curs_inopts(3X)
		     nofilter		     curs_util(3X)*
		     nonl		     curs_outopts(3X)
		     noqiflush		     curs_inopts(3X)
		     noraw		     curs_inopts(3X)
		     notimeout		     curs_inopts(3X)
		     overlay		     curs_overlay(3X)
		     overwrite		     curs_overlay(3X)
		     pair_content	     curs_color(3X)
		     pechochar		     curs_pad(3X)
		     pnoutrefresh	     curs_pad(3X)
		     prefresh		     curs_pad(3X)
		     printw		     curs_printw(3X)
		     putp		     curs_terminfo(3X)
		     putwin		     curs_util(3X)
		     qiflush		     curs_inopts(3X)
		     raw		     curs_inopts(3X)
		     redrawwin		     curs_refresh(3X)
		     refresh		     curs_refresh(3X)
		     reset_prog_mode	     curs_kernel(3X)
		     reset_shell_mode	     curs_kernel(3X)
		     resetty		     curs_kernel(3X)
		     resizeterm		     resizeterm(3X)*
		     restartterm	     curs_terminfo(3X)
		     ripoffline		     curs_kernel(3X)
		     savetty		     curs_kernel(3X)
		     scanw		     curs_scanw(3X)
		     scr_dump		     curs_scr_dump(3X)
		     scr_init		     curs_scr_dump(3X)
		     scr_restore	     curs_scr_dump(3X)
		     scr_set		     curs_scr_dump(3X)
		     scrl		     curs_scroll(3X)
		     scroll		     curs_scroll(3X)
		     scrollok		     curs_outopts(3X)
		     set_curterm	     curs_terminfo(3X)
		     set_term		     curs_initscr(3X)
		     setcchar		     curs_getcchar(3X)
		     setscrreg		     curs_outopts(3X)
		     setsyx		     curs_kernel(3X)
		     setterm		     curs_terminfo(3X)
		     setupterm		     curs_terminfo(3X)
		     slk_attr		     curs_slk(3X)*
		     slk_attr_off	     curs_slk(3X)
		     slk_attr_on	     curs_slk(3X)
		     slk_attr_set	     curs_slk(3X)
		     slk_attroff	     curs_slk(3X)
		     slk_attron		     curs_slk(3X)

		     slk_attrset	     curs_slk(3X)
		     slk_clear		     curs_slk(3X)
		     slk_color		     curs_slk(3X)
		     slk_init		     curs_slk(3X)
		     slk_label		     curs_slk(3X)
		     slk_noutrefresh	     curs_slk(3X)
		     slk_refresh	     curs_slk(3X)
		     slk_restore	     curs_slk(3X)
		     slk_set		     curs_slk(3X)
		     slk_touch		     curs_slk(3X)
		     standend		     curs_attr(3X)
		     standout		     curs_attr(3X)
		     start_color	     curs_color(3X)
		     subpad		     curs_pad(3X)
		     subwin		     curs_window(3X)
		     syncok		     curs_window(3X)
		     term_attrs		     curs_termattrs(3X)
		     termattrs		     curs_termattrs(3X)
		     termname		     curs_termattrs(3X)
		     tgetent		     curs_termcap(3X)
		     tgetflag		     curs_termcap(3X)
		     tgetnum		     curs_termcap(3X)
		     tgetstr		     curs_termcap(3X)
		     tgoto		     curs_termcap(3X)
		     tigetflag		     curs_terminfo(3X)
		     tigetnum		     curs_terminfo(3X)
		     tigetstr		     curs_terminfo(3X)
		     timeout		     curs_inopts(3X)
		     touchline		     curs_touch(3X)
		     touchwin		     curs_touch(3X)
		     tparm		     curs_terminfo(3X)
		     tputs		     curs_termcap(3X)
		     tputs		     curs_terminfo(3X)
		     trace		     curs_trace(3X)*
		     typeahead		     curs_inopts(3X)
		     unctrl		     curs_util(3X)
		     unget_wch		     curs_get_wch(3X)
		     ungetch		     curs_getch(3X)
		     ungetmouse		     curs_mouse(3X)*
		     untouchwin		     curs_touch(3X)
		     use_default_colors	     default_colors(3X)*
		     use_env		     curs_util(3X)
		     use_extended_names	     curs_extend(3X)*
		     use_legacy_coding	     legacy_coding(3X)*
		     vid_attr		     curs_terminfo(3X)
		     vid_puts		     curs_terminfo(3X)
		     vidattr		     curs_terminfo(3X)
		     vidputs		     curs_terminfo(3X)
		     vline		     curs_border(3X)
		     vline_set		     curs_border_set(3X)
		     vw_printw		     curs_printw(3X)
		     vw_scanw		     curs_scanw(3X)
		     vwprintw		     curs_printw(3X)
		     vwscanw		     curs_scanw(3X)
		     wadd_wch		     curs_add_wch(3X)
		     wadd_wchnstr	     curs_add_wchstr(3X)
		     wadd_wchstr	     curs_add_wchstr(3X)
		     waddch		     curs_addch(3X)
		     waddchnstr		     curs_addchstr(3X)
		     waddchstr		     curs_addchstr(3X)
		     waddnstr		     curs_addstr(3X)
		     waddnwstr		     curs_addwstr(3X)
		     waddstr		     curs_addstr(3X)
		     waddwstr		     curs_addwstr(3X)
		     wattr_get		     curs_attr(3X)
		     wattr_off		     curs_attr(3X)

		     wattr_on		     curs_attr(3X)
		     wattr_set		     curs_attr(3X)
		     wattroff		     curs_attr(3X)
		     wattron		     curs_attr(3X)
		     wattrset		     curs_attr(3X)
		     wbkgd		     curs_bkgd(3X)
		     wbkgdset		     curs_bkgd(3X)
		     wbkgrnd		     curs_bkgrnd(3X)
		     wbkgrndset		     curs_bkgrnd(3X)
		     wborder		     curs_border(3X)
		     wborder_set	     curs_border_set(3X)
		     wchgat		     curs_attr(3X)
		     wclear		     curs_clear(3X)
		     wclrtobot		     curs_clear(3X)
		     wclrtoeol		     curs_clear(3X)
		     wcolor_set		     curs_attr(3X)
		     wcursyncup		     curs_window(3X)
		     wdelch		     curs_delch(3X)
		     wdeleteln		     curs_deleteln(3X)
		     wecho_wchar	     curs_add_wch(3X)
		     wechochar		     curs_addch(3X)
		     wenclose		     curs_mouse(3X)*
		     werase		     curs_clear(3X)
		     wget_wch		     curs_get_wch(3X)
		     wget_wstr		     curs_get_wstr(3X)
		     wgetbkgrnd		     curs_bkgrnd(3X)
		     wgetch		     curs_getch(3X)
		     wgetn_wstr		     curs_get_wstr(3X)
		     wgetnstr		     curs_getstr(3X)
		     wgetstr		     curs_getstr(3X)
		     whline		     curs_border(3X)
		     whline_set		     curs_border_set(3X)
		     win_wch		     curs_in_wch(3X)
		     win_wchnstr	     curs_in_wchstr(3X)
		     win_wchstr		     curs_in_wchstr(3X)
		     winch		     curs_inch(3X)
		     winchnstr		     curs_inchstr(3X)
		     winchstr		     curs_inchstr(3X)
		     winnstr		     curs_instr(3X)
		     winnwstr		     curs_inwstr(3X)
		     wins_nwstr		     curs_ins_wstr(3X)
		     wins_wch		     curs_ins_wch(3X)
		     wins_wstr		     curs_ins_wstr(3X)
		     winsch		     curs_insch(3X)
		     winsdelln		     curs_deleteln(3X)
		     winsertln		     curs_deleteln(3X)
		     winsnstr		     curs_insstr(3X)
		     winsstr		     curs_insstr(3X)
		     winstr		     curs_instr(3X)
		     winwstr		     curs_inwstr(3X)
		     wmouse_trafo	     curs_mouse(3X)*
		     wmove		     curs_move(3X)
		     wnoutrefresh	     curs_refresh(3X)
		     wprintw		     curs_printw(3X)
		     wredrawln		     curs_refresh(3X)
		     wrefresh		     curs_refresh(3X)
		     wresize		     wresize(3X)*
		     wscanw		     curs_scanw(3X)
		     wscrl		     curs_scroll(3X)
		     wsetscrreg		     curs_outopts(3X)
		     wstandend		     curs_attr(3X)
		     wstandout		     curs_attr(3X)
		     wsyncdown		     curs_window(3X)
		     wsyncup		     curs_window(3X)
		     wtimeout		     curs_inopts(3X)
		     wtouchln		     curs_touch(3X)

		     wunctrl		     curs_util(3X)
		     wvline		     curs_border(3X)
		     wvline_set		     curs_border_set(3X)

RETURN VALUE
       Routines	 that return an	integer	return ERR upon	failure	and an integer
       value other than	ERR upon successful completion,	unless otherwise noted
       in the routine descriptions.

       All  macros  return  the	 value	of  the	 w  version, except setscrreg,
       wsetscrreg, getyx,  getbegyx,  and  getmaxyx.   The  return  values  of
       setscrreg,  wsetscrreg,	getyx,	getbegyx,  and	getmaxyx are undefined
       (i.e., these should not be used as the right-hand  side	of  assignment
       statements).

       Routines	that return pointers return NULL on error.

ENVIRONMENT
       The  following  environment symbols are useful for customizing the run-
       time behavior of	the ncurses library.  The  most	 important  ones  have
       been already discussed in detail.

       BAUDRATE
	    The	 debugging  library  checks  this  environment symbol when the
	    application	has redirected output to a file.  The symbol's numeric
	    value  is  used  for  the baudrate.	 If no value is	found, ncurses
	    uses 9600.	This allows testers to construct repeatable test-cases
	    that take into account costs that depend on	baudrate.

       CC   When  set,	change occurrences of the command_character (i.e., the
	    cmdch capability) of the loaded terminfo entries to	the  value  of
	    this symbol.  Very few terminfo entries provide this feature.

       COLUMNS
	    Specify  the width of the screen in	characters.  Applications run-
	    ning in a windowing	environment usually are	 able  to  obtain  the
	    width  of  the window in which they	are executing.	If neither the
	    COLUMNS value nor the terminal's screen size is available, ncurses
	    uses  the  size  which  may	 be specified in the terminfo database
	    (i.e., the cols capability).

	    It is important that your application use a	correct	size  for  the
	    screen.   This is not always possible because your application may
	    be running on a host which does not	honor NAWS (Negotiations About
	    Window  Size),  or	because	you are	temporarily running as another
	    user.   However,  setting  COLUMNS	and/or	LINES  overrides   the
	    library's  use of the screen size obtained from the	operating sys-
	    tem.

	    Either COLUMNS or LINES symbols may	 be  specified	independently.
	    This is mainly useful to circumvent	legacy misfeatures of terminal
	    descriptions, e.g.,	xterm  which  commonly	specifies  a  65  line
	    screen.   For best results,	lines and cols should not be specified
	    in a terminal description for terminals which are  run  as	emula-
	    tions.

	    Use	 the  use_env function to disable all use of external environ-
	    ment (including system calls) to determine the screen size.

       ESCDELAY
	    Specifies the total	time, in milliseconds, for which ncurses  will
	    await  a  character	 sequence,  e.g., a function key.  The default
	    value, 1000	milliseconds, is enough	for most uses.	However, it is
	    made a variable to accommodate unusual applications.

	    The	 most  common instance where you may wish to change this value
	    is to work with slow hosts,	e.g., running on a  network.   If  the
	    host  cannot read characters rapidly enough, it will have the same
	    effect as if the terminal did not send characters rapidly  enough.
	    The	library	will still see a timeout.

	    Note that xterm mouse events are built up from character sequences
	    received from the xterm.  If your application makes	heavy  use  of
	    multiple-clicking,	you  may  wish	to lengthen this default value
	    because the	timeout	applies	to the composed	multi-click  event  as
	    well as the	individual clicks.

	    In	addition to the	environment variable, this implementation pro-
	    vides a global variable with the same name.	 Portable applications
	    should  not	rely upon the presence of ESCDELAY in either form, but
	    setting the	environment variable rather than the  global  variable
	    does not create problems when compiling an application.

       HOME Tells  ncurses where your home directory is.  That is where	it may
	    read and write auxiliary terminal descriptions:

	    $HOME/.termcap
	    $HOME/.terminfo

       LINES
	    Like COLUMNS, specify the height of	the screen in characters.  See
	    COLUMNS for	a detailed description.

       MOUSE_BUTTONS_123
	    This applies only to the OS/2 EMX port.  It	specifies the order of
	    buttons on the mouse.  OS/2	numbers	 a  3-button  mouse  inconsis-
	    tently from	other platforms:

	    1 =	left
	    2 =	right
	    3 =	middle.

	    This  symbol  lets	you  customize	the mouse.  The	symbol must be
	    three numeric digits 1-3 in	any order, e.g., 123 or	321.  If it is
	    not	specified, ncurses uses	132.

       NCURSES_ASSUMED_COLORS
	    Override  the  compiled-in	assumption that	the terminal's default
	    colors are white-on-black (see default_colors(3X)).	 You  may  set
	    the	 foreground  and background color values with this environment
	    variable by	proving	a 2-element list: foreground,background.   For
	    example,  to tell ncurses to not assume anything about the colors,
	    set	this to	"-1,-1".  To make it green-on-black, set it to	"2,0".
	    Any	 positive  value from zero to the terminfo max_colors value is
	    allowed.

       NCURSES_GPM_TERMS
	    This applies only to ncurses configured to use the GPM  interface.

	    If present,	the environment	variable is a list of one or more ter-
	    minal  names  against  which  the  TERM  environment  variable  is
	    matched.  Setting it to an empty value disables the	GPM interface;
	    using the built-in support for xterm, etc.

	    If the environment variable	is absent,  ncurses  will  attempt  to
	    open GPM if	TERM contains "linux".

       NCURSES_NO_HARD_TABS
	    Ncurses  may use tabs as part of the cursor	movement optimization.
	    In some cases, your	terminal driver	may not	handle these properly.
	    Set	 this  environment  variable  to disable the feature.  You can
	    also adjust	your stty settings to avoid the	problem.

       NCURSES_NO_MAGIC_COOKIES
	    Some terminals use a magic-cookie feature which  requires  special
	    handling  to  make highlighting and	other video attributes display
	    properly.  You can suppress	the highlighting  entirely  for	 these
	    terminals by setting this environment variable.

       NCURSES_NO_PADDING
	    Most  of  the  terminal  descriptions in the terminfo database are
	    written for	real "hardware"	terminals.  Many people	 use  terminal
	    emulators  which  run  in  a windowing environment and use curses-
	    based applications.	 Terminal emulators can	duplicate all  of  the
	    important aspects of a hardware terminal, but they do not have the
	    same limitations.  The chief limitation  of	 a  hardware  terminal
	    from  the  standpoint  of  your  application  is the management of
	    dataflow, i.e., timing.  Unless a hardware terminal	is  interfaced
	    into  a  terminal  concentrator  (which does flow control),	it (or
	    your application) must manage dataflow, preventing overruns.   The
	    cheapest  solution	(no  hardware  cost) is	for your program to do
	    this by pausing after operations that the  terminal	 does  slowly,
	    such as clearing the display.

	    As a result, many terminal descriptions (including the vt100) have
	    delay times	embedded.  You may wish	to use these descriptions, but
	    not	want to	pay the	performance penalty.

	    Set	 the  NCURSES_NO_PADDING  symbol  to disable all but mandatory
	    padding.  Mandatory	padding	is used	as a part of  special  control
	    sequences such as flash.

       NCURSES_NO_SETBUF
	    Normally  ncurses enables buffered output during terminal initial-
	    ization.  This is done (as in SVr4 curses)	for  performance  rea-
	    sons.   For	testing	purposes, both of ncurses and certain applica-
	    tions, this	feature	is made	optional.  Setting the NCURSES_NO_SET-
	    BUF	 variable disables output buffering, leaving the output	in the
	    original (usually line buffered) mode.

       NCURSES_NO_UTF8_ACS
	    During initialization, the	ncurses	 library  checks  for  special
	    cases  where  VT100	 line-drawing (and the corresponding alternate
	    character set capabilities)	described in the terminfo are known to
	    be	missing.   Specifically,  when	running	in a UTF-8 locale, the
	    Linux console emulator and the GNU screen  program	ignore	these.
	    Ncurses checks the TERM environment	variable for these.  For other
	    special cases, you should set this	environment  variable.	 Doing
	    this  tells	 ncurses to use	Unicode	values which correspond	to the
	    VT100 line-drawing glyphs.	 That  works  for  the	special	 cases
	    cited, and is likely to work for terminal emulators.

	    When  setting this variable, you should set	it to a	nonzero	value.
	    Setting it to zero (or to a	nonnumber) disables the	special	 check
	    for	Linux and screen.

       NCURSES_TRACE
	    During  initialization,  the  ncurses debugging library checks the
	    NCURSES_TRACE symbol.  If it  is  defined,	to  a  numeric	value,
	    ncurses  calls  the	 trace function, using that value as the argu-
	    ment.

	    The	argument values, which are defined in curses.h,	 provide  sev-
	    eral types of information.	When running with traces enabled, your
	    application	will write the file trace to the current directory.

       TERM Denotes your terminal  type.   Each	 terminal  type	 is  distinct,
	    though many	are similar.

       TERMCAP
	    If	the  ncurses library has been configured with termcap support,
	    ncurses will check for a terminal's	description in termcap form if
	    it is not available	in the terminfo	database.

	    The	 TERMCAP  symbol  contains either a terminal description (with
	    newlines stripped out), or a file name telling where the  informa-
	    tion  denoted  by the TERM symbol exists.  In either case, setting
	    it directs ncurses to ignore the usual place for this information,
	    e.g., /etc/termcap.

       TERMINFO
	    Overrides  the directory in	which ncurses searches for your	termi-
	    nal	description.  This is the simplest, but	not the	 only  way  to
	    change  the	list of	directories.  The complete list	of directories
	    in order follows:

	    -  the last	directory to which ncurses wrote, if any, is  searched
	       first

	    -  the directory specified by the TERMINFO symbol

	    -  $HOME/.terminfo

	    -  directories listed in the TERMINFO_DIRS symbol

	    -  one or more directories whose names are configured and compiled
	       into the	ncurses	library, e.g., /usr/share/misc/terminfo

       TERMINFO_DIRS
	    Specifies a	list of	directories to search  for  terminal  descrip-
	    tions.  The	list is	separated by colons (i.e., ":")	on Unix, semi-
	    colons on OS/2 EMX.	 All of	the terminal descriptions are in  ter-
	    minfo  form, which makes a subdirectory named for the first	letter
	    of the terminal names therein.

       TERMPATH
	    If TERMCAP does not	hold a	file  name  then  ncurses  checks  the
	    TERMPATH  symbol.  This is a list of filenames separated by	spaces
	    or colons (i.e., ":") on Unix, semicolons on  OS/2	EMX.   If  the
	    TERMPATH  symbol is	not set, ncurses looks in the files /etc/term-
	    cap, /usr/share/misc/termcap and $HOME/.termcap, in	that order.

       The library may be configured to	disregard the following	variables when
       the  current  user  is the superuser (root), or if the application uses
       setuid or setgid	permissions: $TERMINFO,	$TERMINFO_DIRS,	$TERMPATH,  as
       well as $HOME.

ALTERNATE CONFIGURATIONS
       Several different configurations	are possible, depending	on the config-
       ure script options used when building ncurses.  There are  a  few  main
       options	whose  effects are visible to the applications developer using
       ncurses:

       --disable-overwrite
	    The	standard include for ncurses is	as noted in SYNOPSIS:

	    #include <curses.h>

	    This option	is used	to avoid filename conflicts  when  ncurses  is
	    not	the main implementation	of curses of the computer.  If ncurses
	    is installed disabling overwrite, it puts its headers in a	subdi-
	    rectory, e.g.,

	    #include <ncurses/curses.h>

	    It	also  omits  a	symbolic  link	which  would  allow you	to use
	    -lcurses to	build executables.

       --enable-widec
	    The	configure script renames the library and  (if  the  --disable-
	    overwrite  option  is  used)  puts the header files	in a different
	    subdirectory.  All of the library names have  a  "w"  appended  to
	    them, i.e.,	instead	of

	    -lncurses

	    you	link with

	    -lncursesw

	    You	must also define _XOPEN_SOURCE_EXTENDED	when compiling for the
	    wide-character library to use the extended (wide-character)	 func-
	    tions.   The curses.h file which is	installed for the wide-charac-
	    ter	library	is designed to be compatible with the normal library's
	    header.   Only  the	size of	the WINDOW structure differs, and very
	    few	applications require more than a pointer to WINDOWs.   If  the
	    headers  are  installed  allowing  overwrite,  the	wide-character
	    library's headers should be	installed last,	to allow  applications
	    to be built	using either library from the same set of headers.

       --with-shared

       --with-normal

       --with-debug

       --with-profile
	    The	 shared	and normal (static) library names differ by their suf-
	    fixes, e.g., libncurses.so and libncurses.a.  The debug  and  pro-
	    filing  libraries  add a "_g" and a	"_p" to	the root names respec-
	    tively, e.g., libncurses_g.a and libncurses_p.a.

       --with-trace
	    The	trace function normally	resides	in the debug library,  but  it
	    is sometimes useful	to configure this in the shared	library.  Con-
	    figure scripts should check	for the	 function's  existence	rather
	    than assuming it is	always in the debug library.

FILES
       /usr/share/tabset
	    directory  containing  initialization files	for the	terminal capa-
	    bility database /usr/share/misc/terminfo terminal capability data-
	    base

SEE ALSO
       terminfo(5)  and	 related  pages	whose names begin "curs_" for detailed
       routine descriptions.

EXTENSIONS
       The ncurses library can be compiled with	an option (-DUSE_GETCAP)  that
       falls  back  to	the  old-style /etc/termcap file if the	terminal setup
       code cannot find	a terminfo entry corresponding to TERM.	 Use  of  this
       feature	is not recommended, as it essentially includes an entire term-
       cap compiler in the ncurses startup code, at significant	cost  in  core
       and startup cycles.

       The  ncurses  library includes facilities for capturing mouse events on
       certain terminals (including xterm).   See  the	curs_mouse(3X)	manual
       page for	details.

       The ncurses library includes facilities for responding to window	resiz-
       ing events, e.g., when running in an xterm.  See	the resizeterm(3X) and
       wresize(3X)  manual pages for details.  In addition, the	library	may be
       configured with a SIGWINCH handler.

       The ncurses library extends the fixed set of function key  capabilities
       of  terminals by	allowing the application designer to define additional
       key sequences at	runtime.  See the define_key(3X) key_defined(3X),  and
       keyok(3X) manual	pages for details.

       The  ncurses  library  can  exploit the capabilities of terminals which
       implement the ISO-6429 SGR 39 and  SGR  49  controls,  which  allow  an
       application  to reset the terminal to its original foreground and back-
       ground colors.  From the	users' perspective, the	application is able to
       draw  colored  text  on	a background whose color is set	independently,
       providing better	control	over color contrasts.	See  the  default_col-
       ors(3X) manual page for details.

       The  ncurses library includes a function	for directing application out-
       put  to	a  printer  attached  to  the  terminal	  device.    See   the
       curs_print(3X) manual page for details.

PORTABILITY
       The  ncurses  library  is intended to be	BASE-level conformant with XSI
       Curses.	The EXTENDED XSI Curses	functionality  (including  color  sup-
       port) is	supported.

       A  small	 number	 of local differences (that is,	individual differences
       between the XSI Curses and ncurses calls) are described in  PORTABILITY
       sections	of the library man pages.

       This implementation also	contains several extensions:

	    The	 routine  has_key  is  not  part of XPG4, nor is it present in
	    SVr4.  See the curs_getch(3X) manual page for details.

	    The	routine	slk_attr is not	part of	XPG4, nor  is  it  present  in
	    SVr4.  See the curs_slk(3X)	manual page for	details.

	    The	 routines  getmouse, mousemask,	ungetmouse, mouseinterval, and
	    wenclose relating to mouse interfacing are not part	of  XPG4,  nor
	    are	 they present in SVr4.	See the	curs_mouse(3X) manual page for
	    details.

	    The	routine	mcprint	was not	present	in any previous	curses	imple-
	    mentation.	See the	curs_print(3X) manual page for details.

	    The	 routine  wresize  is  not  part of XPG4, nor is it present in
	    SVr4.  See the wresize(3X) manual page for details.

	    The	WINDOW structure's internal details can	be hidden from	appli-
	    cation  programs.	See  curs_opaque(3X)  for  the	discussion  of
	    is_scrollok, etc.

       In historic curses versions, delays embedded in	the  capabilities  cr,
       ind,  cub1,  ff	and tab	activated corresponding	delay bits in the UNIX
       tty driver.  In this implementation, all	padding	is done	by sending NUL
       bytes.	This method is slightly	more expensive,	but narrows the	inter-
       face to the UNIX	 kernel	 significantly	and  increases	the  package's
       portability correspondingly.

NOTES
       The  header  file  <curses.h>  automatically  includes the header files
       <stdio.h> and <unctrl.h>.

       If standard output from a ncurses program is re-directed	 to  something
       which  is not a tty, screen updates will	be directed to standard	error.
       This was	an undocumented	feature	of AT&T	System V Release 3 curses.

AUTHORS
       Zeyd M. Ben-Halim, Eric S. Raymond, Thomas E. Dickey.  Based on pcurses
       by Pavel	Curtis.

								   ncurses(3X)

NAME | SYNOPSIS | DESCRIPTION | RETURN VALUE | ENVIRONMENT | ALTERNATE CONFIGURATIONS | FILES | SEE ALSO | EXTENSIONS | PORTABILITY | NOTES | AUTHORS

Want to link to this manual page? Use this URL:
<http://www.freebsd.org/cgi/man.cgi?query=ncurses&manpath=FreeBSD+9.3-RELEASE>

home | help