Problems with terminal -tn setting TERM variable

Matt Wozniski
Fri Nov 3 18:02:00 GMT 2006

On 11/3/06, Igor Peshansky <> wrote:

> 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.
> HTH,
>         Igor
> --
>       |\      _,,,---,,_   |
> ZZZzz /,`.-'`'    -.  ;-;;,_            Igor Peshansky, Ph.D. (name changed!)
>      |,4-  ) )-,_. ,\ (  `'-'           old name: Igor Pechtchanski
>     '---''(_/--'  `-'\_) fL     a.k.a JaguaR-R-R-r-r-r-.-.-.  Meow!
> "Las! je suis sot... -Mais non, tu ne l'es pas, puisque tu t'en rends compte."
> "But no -- you are no fool; you call yourself a fool, there's proof enough in
> that!" -- Rostand, "Cyrano de Bergerac"

Well, mystery solved, it's using termcap instead of terminfo, but why
would on earth would two Cygwin xterm packages (mine and Igor's) use
two different terminal capability databases?  The man page says that
it depends on how it was built, but how could the two packages have
been built differently?

Igor:  Does "grep '^xterm' /etc/termcap" give you more than just one
line defining xterm-r6 and xterm?  I'm just trying to figure out if
yours is also using termcap and your termcap entry covers
xterm-16color, or if yours is using terminfo like it ought to be.

Thanks for any insight anyone can provide.

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