Problems with terminal -tn setting TERM variable

Igor Peshansky
Fri Nov 3 16:38:00 GMT 2006

On Fri, 3 Nov 2006, Matt Wozniski wrote:

> Sorry for the crosspost - I posted this on the Cygwin list last week, but
> didn't get a response, and realized that it probably belonged better on
> this list, so I'm trying again.
> I'm sorry if there's an easy solution that I haven't found yet, but
> I'm wondering if anyone else is experiencing the same problem with
> Cygwin/X's xterm as I am.  xterm -tn doesn't seem to properly set up
> the TERM variable.
> For example:
> xterm -tn xterm-16color -e bash -c 'echo TERM=$TERM; read x'
> pops up a Cygwin/X xterm window containing
> TERM=xterm
> Whereas
> rxvt -tn xterm-16color -e bash -c 'echo TERM=$TERM; read x'
> pops up a Cygwin/X rxvt window containing
> TERM=xterm-16color
> Can anyone else confirm this behavior, or offer a suggestion on how to
> deal with this behavior?  I want to use xterm, since I couldn't get
> the same level of unicode support in rxvt cygwin native, rxvt cygwin x
> unicode, or rxvt cygwin.  I also don't want to explicitly set TERM in
> one of my dot files, since I use the same ones on many computers.

I can reproduce your particular testcase, not surprisingly.

According to the xterm manpage, "This terminal type must exist in the
terminal database (termcap or terminfo, depending on how xterm is built)
and should have li# and co# entries. If the terminal type is not found,
xterm uses the built-in list ``xterm'', ``vt102'', etc."

"xterm -tn ansi" and "xterm -tn vt100" both work.  You need to look at
your terminal database and figure out why xterm is not picking it up.
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