TPUT(1) — Linux manual page


@TPUT@(1)                  General Commands Manual                 @TPUT@(1)

NAME         top

       @TPUT@, reset - initialize a terminal or query terminfo database

SYNOPSIS         top

       @TPUT@ [-Ttype] capname [parameters]
       @TPUT@ [-Ttype] [-x] clear
       @TPUT@ [-Ttype] init
       @TPUT@ [-Ttype] reset
       @TPUT@ [-Ttype] longname
       @TPUT@ -S  <<
       @TPUT@ -V

DESCRIPTION         top

       The @TPUT@ utility uses the terminfo database to make the values of
       terminal-dependent capabilities and information available to the
       shell (see sh(1)), to initialize or reset the terminal, or return the
       long name of the requested terminal type.  The result depends upon
       the capability's type:

               @TPUT@ writes the string to the standard output.  No trailing
               newline is supplied.

               @TPUT@ writes the decimal value to the standard output, with
               a trailing newline.

               @TPUT@ simply sets the exit code (0 for TRUE if the terminal
               has the capability, 1 for FALSE if it does not), and writes
               nothing to the standard output.

       Before using a value returned on the standard output, the application
       should test the exit code (e.g., $?, see sh(1)) to be sure it is 0.
       (See the EXIT CODES and DIAGNOSTICS sections.)  For a complete list
       of capabilities and the capname associated with each, see

       -S     allows more than one capability per invocation of @TPUT@.  The
              capabilities must be passed to @TPUT@ from the standard input
              instead of from the command line (see example).  Only one
              capname is allowed per line.  The -S option changes the
              meaning of the 0 and 1 boolean and string exit codes (see the
              EXIT CODES section).

              Because some capabilities may use string parameters rather
              than numbers, @TPUT@ uses a table and the presence of
              parameters in its input to decide whether to use tparm(3X),
              and how to interpret the parameters.

       -Ttype indicates the type of terminal.  Normally this option is
              unnecessary, because the default is taken from the environment
              variable TERM.  If -T is specified, then the shell variables
              LINES and COLUMNS will also be ignored.

       -V     reports the version of ncurses which was used in this program,
              and exits.

       -x     do not attempt to clear the terminal's scrollback buffer using
              the extended “E3” capability.

       A few commands (init, reset and longname) are special; they are
       defined by the @TPUT@ program.  The others are the names of
       capabilities from the terminal database (see terminfo(5) for a list).
       Although init and reset resemble capability names, @TPUT@ uses
       several capabilities to perform these special functions.

              indicates the capability from the terminal database.

              If the capability is a string that takes parameters, the
              arguments following the capability will be used as parameters
              for the string.

              Most parameters are numbers.  Only a few terminal capabilities
              require string parameters; @TPUT@ uses a table to decide which
              to pass as strings.  Normally @TPUT@ uses tparm(3X) to perform
              the substitution.  If no parameters are given for the
              capability, @TPUT@ writes the string without performing the

       init   If the terminal database is present and an entry for the
              user's terminal exists (see -Ttype, above), the following will

              (1)  first, @TPUT@ retrieves the current terminal mode
                   settings for your terminal.  It does this by successively

                   •   the standard error,

                   •   standard output,

                   •   standard input and

                   •   ultimately “/dev/tty”

                   to obtain terminal settings.  Having retrieved these
                   settings, @TPUT@ remembers which file descriptor to use
                   when updating settings.

              (2)  if the window size cannot be obtained from the operating
                   system, but the terminal description (or environment,
                   e.g., LINES and COLUMNS variables specify this), update
                   the operating system's notion of the window size.

              (3)  the terminal modes will be updated:

                   •   any delays (e.g., newline) specified in the entry
                       will be set in the tty driver,

                   •   tabs expansion will be turned on or off according to
                       the specification in the entry, and

                   •   if tabs are not expanded, standard tabs will be set
                       (every 8 spaces).

              (4)  if present, the terminal's initialization strings will be
                   output as detailed in the terminfo(5) section on Tabs and

              (5)  output is flushed.

              If an entry does not contain the information needed for any of
              these activities, that activity will silently be skipped.

       reset  This is similar to init, with two differences:

              (1)  before any other initialization, the terminal modes will
                   be reset to a “sane” state:

                   •   set cooked and echo modes,

                   •   turn off cbreak and raw modes,

                   •   turn on newline translation and

                   •   reset any unset special characters to their default

              (2)  Instead of putting out initialization strings, the
                   terminal's reset strings will be output if present (rs1,
                   rs2, rs3, rf).  If the reset strings are not present, but
                   initialization strings are, the initialization strings
                   will be output.

              Otherwise, reset acts identically to init.

              If the terminal database is present and an entry for the
              user's terminal exists (see -Ttype above), then the long name
              of the terminal will be put out.  The long name is the last
              name in the first line of the terminal's description in the
              terminfo database [see term(5)].

       @TPUT@ handles the clear, init and reset commands specially: it
       allows for the possibility that it is invoked by a link with those

       If @TPUT@ is invoked by a link named reset, this has the same effect
       as @TPUT@ reset.  The @TSET@(1) utility also treats a link named
       reset specially.

       Before ncurses 6.1, the two utilities were different from each other:

       •   @TSET@ utility reset the terminal modes and special characters
           (not done with @TPUT@).

       •   On the other hand, @TSET@'s repertoire of terminal capabilities
           for resetting the terminal was more limited, i.e., only
           reset_1string, reset_2string and reset_file in contrast to the
           tab-stops and margins which are set by this utility.

       •   The reset program is usually an alias for @TSET@, because of this
           difference with resetting terminal modes and special characters.

       With the changes made for ncurses 6.1, the reset feature of the two
       programs is (mostly) the same.  A few differences remain:

       •   The @TSET@ program waits one second when resetting, in case it
           happens to be a hardware terminal.

       •   The two programs write the terminal initialization strings to
           different streams (i.e., the standard error for @TSET@ and the
           standard output for @TPUT@).

           Note: although these programs write to different streams,
           redirecting their output to a file will capture only part of
           their actions.  The changes to the terminal modes are not
           affected by redirecting the output.

       If @TPUT@ is invoked by a link named init, this has the same effect
       as @TPUT@ init.  Again, you are less likely to use that link because
       another program named init has a more well-established use.

   Terminal Size
       Besides the special commands (e.g., clear), @TPUT@ treats certain
       terminfo capabilities specially: lines and cols.  @TPUT@ calls
       setupterm(3X) to obtain the terminal size:

       •   first, it gets the size from the terminal database (which
           generally is not provided for terminal emulators which do not
           have a fixed window size)

       •   then it asks the operating system for the terminal's size (which
           generally works, unless connecting via a serial line which does
           not support NAWS: negotiations about window size).

       •   finally, it inspects the environment variables LINES and COLUMNS
           which may override the terminal size.

       If the -T option is given @TPUT@ ignores the environment variables by
       calling use_tioctl(TRUE), relying upon the operating system (or
       finally, the terminal database).

EXAMPLES         top

       @TPUT@ init
            Initialize the terminal according to the type of terminal in the
            environmental variable TERM.  This command should be included in
            everyone's .profile after the environmental variable TERM has
            been exported, as illustrated on the profile(5) manual page.

       @TPUT@ -T5620 reset
            Reset an AT&T 5620 terminal, overriding the type of terminal in
            the environmental variable TERM.

       @TPUT@ cup 0 0
            Send the sequence to move the cursor to row 0, column 0 (the
            upper left corner of the screen, usually known as the “home”
            cursor position).

       @TPUT@ clear
            Echo the clear-screen sequence for the current terminal.

       @TPUT@ cols
            Print the number of columns for the current terminal.

       @TPUT@ -T450 cols
            Print the number of columns for the 450 terminal.

       bold=`@TPUT@ smso` offbold=`@TPUT@ rmso`
            Set the shell variables bold, to begin stand-out mode sequence,
            and offbold, to end standout mode sequence, for the current
            terminal.  This might be followed by a prompt: echo
            "${bold}Please type in your name: ${offbold}\c"

       @TPUT@ hc
            Set exit code to indicate if the current terminal is a hard copy

       @TPUT@ cup 23 4
            Send the sequence to move the cursor to row 23, column 4.

       @TPUT@ cup
            Send the terminfo string for cursor-movement, with no parameters

       @TPUT@ longname
            Print the long name from the terminfo database for the type of
            terminal specified in the environmental variable TERM.

            @TPUT@ -S <<!
            > clear
            > cup 10 10
            > bold
            > !

            This example shows @TPUT@ processing several capabilities in one
            invocation.  It clears the screen, moves the cursor to position
            10, 10 and turns on bold (extra bright) mode.  The list is
            terminated by an exclamation mark (!) on a line by itself.

FILES         top

              compiled terminal description database

              tab settings for some terminals, in a format appropriate to be
              output to the terminal (escape sequences that set margins and
              tabs); for more information, see the Tabs and Initialization,
              section of terminfo(5)

EXIT CODES         top

       If the -S option is used, @TPUT@ checks for errors from each line,
       and if any errors are found, will set the exit code to 4 plus the
       number of lines with errors.  If no errors are found, the exit code
       is 0.  No indication of which line failed can be given so exit code 1
       will never appear.  Exit codes 2, 3, and 4 retain their usual
       interpretation.  If the -S option is not used, the exit code depends
       on the type of capname:

                 a value of 0 is set for TRUE and 1 for FALSE.

          string a value of 0 is set if the capname is defined for this
                 terminal type (the value of capname is returned on standard
                 output); a value of 1 is set if capname is not defined for
                 this terminal type (nothing is written to standard output).

                 a value of 0 is always set, whether or not capname is
                 defined for this terminal type.  To determine if capname is
                 defined for this terminal type, the user must test the
                 value written to standard output.  A value of -1 means that
                 capname is not defined for this terminal type.

          other  reset or init may fail to find their respective files.  In
                 that case, the exit code is set to 4 + errno.

       Any other exit code indicates an error; see the DIAGNOSTICS section.

DIAGNOSTICS         top

       @TPUT@ prints the following error messages and sets the corresponding
       exit codes.

       exit code   error message
       0           (capname is a numeric variable that is not specified in
                   the terminfo(5) database for this terminal type, e.g.
                   @TPUT@ -T450 lines and @TPUT@ -T2621 xmc)
       1           no error message is printed, see the EXIT CODES section.
       2           usage error
       3           unknown terminal type or no terminfo database
       4           unknown terminfo capability capname
       >4          error occurred in -S

HISTORY         top

       The tput command was begun by Bill Joy in 1980.  The initial version
       only cleared the screen.

       AT&T System V provided a different tput command, whose init and reset
       subcommands (more than half the program) were incorporated from the
       reset feature of BSD tset written by Eric Allman.

       Keith Bostic replaced the BSD tput command in 1989 with a new
       implementation based on the AT&T System V program tput.  Like the
       AT&T program, Bostic's version accepted some parameters named for
       terminfo capabilities (clear, init, longname and reset).  However
       (because he had only termcap available), it accepted termcap names
       for other capabilities.  Also, Bostic's BSD tput did not modify the
       terminal I/O modes as the earlier BSD tset had done.

       At the same time, Bostic added a shell script named “clear”, which
       used tput to clear the screen.

       Both of these appeared in 4.4BSD, becoming the “modern” BSD
       implementation of tput.

       This implementation of tput began from a different source than AT&T
       or BSD: Ross Ridge's mytinfo package, published on comp.sources.unix
       in December 1992.  Ridge's program made more sophisticated use of the
       terminal capabilities than the BSD program.  Eric Raymond used that
       tput program (and other parts of mytinfo) in ncurses in June 1995.
       Using the portions dealing with terminal capabilities almost without
       change, Raymond made improvements to the way the command-line
       parameters were handled.

PORTABILITY         top

       This implementation of tput differs from AT&T tput in two important

       •   @TPUT@ capname writes to the standard output.  That need not be a
           regular terminal.  However, the subcommands which manipulate
           terminal modes may not use the standard output.

           The AT&T implementation's init and reset commands use the BSD
           (4.1c) tset source, which manipulates terminal modes.  It
           successively tries standard output, standard error, standard
           input before falling back to “/dev/tty” and finally just assumes
           a 1200Bd terminal.  When updating terminal modes, it ignores

           Until changes made after ncurses 6.0, @TPUT@ did not modify
           terminal modes.  @TPUT@ now uses a similar scheme, using
           functions shared with @TSET@ (and ultimately based on the 4.4BSD
           tset).  If it is not able to open a terminal, e.g., when running
           in cron, @TPUT@ will return an error.

       •   AT&T tput guesses the type of its capname operands by seeing if
           all of the characters are numeric, or not.

           Most implementations which provide support for capname operands
           use the tparm function to expand parameters in it.  That function
           expects a mixture of numeric and string parameters, requiring
           @TPUT@ to know which type to use.

           This implementation uses a table to determine the parameter types
           for the standard capname operands, and an internal library
           function to analyze nonstandard capname operands.

       This implementation (unlike others) can accept both termcap and
       terminfo names for the capname feature, if termcap support is
       compiled in.  However, the predefined termcap and terminfo names have
       two ambiguities in this case (and the terminfo name is assumed):

       •   The termcap name dl corresponds to the terminfo name dl1 (delete
           one line).
           The terminfo name dl corresponds to the termcap name DL (delete a
           given number of lines).

       •   The termcap name ed corresponds to the terminfo name rmdc (end
           delete mode).
           The terminfo name ed corresponds to the termcap name cd (clear to
           end of screen).

       The longname and -S options, and the parameter-substitution features
       used in the cup example, were not supported in BSD curses before
       4.3reno (1989) or in AT&T/USL curses before SVr4 (1988).

       IEEE Std 1003.1/The Open Group  Base Specifications Issue 7
       (POSIX.1-2008) documents only the operands for clear, init and reset.
       There are a few interesting observations to make regarding that:

       •   In this implementation, clear is part of the capname support.
           The others (init and longname) do not correspond to terminal

       •   Other implementations of tput on SVr4-based systems such as
           Solaris, IRIX64 and HPUX as well as others such as AIX and Tru64
           provide support for capname operands.

       •   A few platforms such as FreeBSD recognize termcap names rather
           than terminfo capability names in their respective tput commands.
           Since 2010, NetBSD's tput uses terminfo names.  Before that, it
           (like FreeBSD) recognized termcap names.

       Because (apparently) all of the certified Unix systems support the
       full set of capability names, the reasoning for documenting only a
       few may not be apparent.

       •   X/Open Curses Issue 7 documents tput differently, with capname
           and the other features used in this implementation.

       •   That is, there are two standards for tput: POSIX (a subset) and
           X/Open Curses (the full implementation).  POSIX documents a
           subset to avoid the complication of including X/Open Curses and
           the terminal capabilities database.

       •   While it is certainly possible to write a tput program without
           using curses, none of the systems which have a curses
           implementation provide a tput utility which does not provide the
           capname feature.

       X/Open Curses Issue 7 (2009) is the first version to document
       utilities.  However that part of X/Open Curses does not follow
       existing practice (i.e., Unix features documented in SVID 3):

       •   It assigns exit code 4 to “invalid operand”, which may be the
           same as unknown capability.  For instance, the source code for
           Solaris' xcurses uses the term “invalid” in this case.

       •   It assigns exit code 255 to a numeric variable that is not
           specified in the terminfo database.  That likely is a
           documentation error, confusing the -1 written to the standard
           output for an absent or cancelled numeric value versus an
           (unsigned) exit code.

       The various Unix systems (AIX, HPUX, Solaris) use the same exit-codes
       as ncurses.

       NetBSD curses documents different exit codes which do not correspond
       to either ncurses or X/Open.

SEE ALSO         top

       @CLEAR@(1), stty(1), @TABS@(1), @TSET@(1), terminfo(5),

       This describes ncurses version @NCURSES_MAJOR@.@NCURSES_MINOR@ (patch

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