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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 li-
       brary 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 en-
       try).  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/local/share/misc/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/local/share/misc/terminfo  or
	   the	location  specified using your TERMINFO	variable, it looks for
	   the	directory  $HOME/.terminfo  (or	 hashed	 database  $HOME/.ter-
	   minfo.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 ("no default value"), and

       o   the system terminfo database	(/usr/local/share/misc/terminfo).

       This is the same	program	as infotocap and captoinfo; usually those  are
       linked to, or copied from this program:

       o   When	invoked	as infotocap, tic sets the -I option.

       o   When	invoked	as captoinfo, tic sets the -C option.

       -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 re-
	      port cases where the terminfo values do not have an exact	equiv-
	      alent 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  op-
	      tion,  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/en-
	      dif 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, carriage_re-
	      turn, cursor_left, cursor_down,  scroll_forward,	tab,  newline,
	      key_backspace,  key_left,	and key_down, then attempts to use ob-
	      solete 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 li-
	      brary (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 de-
	      scriptions 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, in-
	    dicating the desired level of detail of information.   If  ncurses
	    is	built  without	tracing	support, the optional parameter	is ig-
	    nored.  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  de-
	      scribes 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/local/share/misc/ter-
       minfo  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 de-
       fined 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 en-
       try_name_1 before use= for these	capabilities to	 be  canceled  in  en-

       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 op-
       tion: -v	(optionally followed by	a number).  According to Ross  Ridge's
       comment	in  mytinfo,  this version of tic was unable to	represent can-
       celled 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 ca-

       In 2010,	Roy Marples provided a tic program and	terminfo  library  for
       NetBSD.	 That implementation adapts several features from ncurses, in-
       cluding 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.  Ac-
       cording to its manual pages, that system	also supported the -v option.

       Shortly after Issue 7 was released,  Tru64  was	discontinued.	As  of
       2019, the surviving implementations of tic are SVr4 (AIX, HP-UX and So-
       laris), ncurses and NetBSD curses.  The SVr4 tic	programs  all  support
       the  -v option.	The NetBSD tic program follows X/Open's	documentation,
       omitting	the -v option.

       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 de-
       scription 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 ca-
       pabilities.   This implementation of tic	will find use targets anywhere
       in the source file, or anywhere in the file tree	rooted at TERMINFO (if
       TERMINFO	 is defined), or in the	user's $HOME/.terminfo database	(if it
       exists),	or (finally) anywhere in the system's file  tree  of  compiled

       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.

       Aside from -c and -v, options are not portable:

       o   Most	of tic's options are not supported by SVr4 tic:

	   -0 -1 -C -G -I -N -R	-T -V -a -e -f -g -o -r	-s -t -x

       o   The NetBSD tic  supports a few of the ncurses options

	   -a -o -x

	   and adds -S (a feature which	does the same thing  as	 infocmp's  -e
	   and -E options).

       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 6.2 (patch 20200822).

       Eric S. Raymond <> and
       Thomas E. Dickey	<>



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