This page summarizes variables provided by the curses library's low-
level terminfo interface. A more complete description is given in
the curs_terminfo(3X) manual page.
Depending on the configuration, these may be actual variables, or
macros (see curs_threads(3X)) which provide read-only access to
curses's state. In either case, applications should treat them as
read-only to avoid confusing the library.
Alternate Character Set Mapping
After initializing the curses or terminfo interfaces, the acs_map
array holds information used to translate cells with the A_ALTCHARSET
video attribute into line-drawing characters.
The encoding of the information in this array has changed
periodically. Application developers need only know that it is used
for the “ACS_” constants in <curses.h>.
The comparable data for the wide-character library is a private
Current Terminal Data
After initializing the curses or terminfo interfaces, the cur_term
contains data describing the current terminal. This variable is also
set as a side-effect of set_term(3X) and delscreen(3X).
It is possible to save a value of cur_term for subsequent use as a
parameter to set_term, for switching between screens. Alternatively,
one can save the return value from newterm or setupterm(3X) to reuse
The @TIC@(1) and @INFOCMP@(1) programs use lookup tables for the long
and short names of terminfo capabilities, as well as the
corresponding names for termcap capabilities. These are available to
other applications, although the hash-tables used by the terminfo and
termcap functions are not available.
The long terminfo capability names use a “l” (ell) in their names:
boolfnames, numfnames, and strfnames.
These are the short names for terminfo capabilities: boolnames,
numnames, and strnames.
These are the corresponding names used for termcap descriptions:
boolcodes, numcodes, and strcodes.
A terminal description begins with one or more terminal names
separated by “|” (vertical bars). On initialization of the curses or
terminfo interfaces, setupterm(3X) copies the terminal names to the
In addition to the variables, <term.h> also defines a symbol for each
terminfo capability long name. These are in terms of the symbol CUR,
which is defined
#define CUR ((TERMTYPE *)(cur_term))->
These symbols provide a faster method of accessing terminfo
capabilities than using tigetstr(3X), etc.
The actual definition of CUR depends upon the implementation, but
each terminfo library provides these long names defined to point into
the current terminal description loaded into memory.
X/Open Curses does not describe any of these except for cur_term.
(The inclusion of cur_term appears to be an oversight, since other
comparable low-level information is omitted by X/Open).
Other implementations may have comparable variables. Some
implementations provide the variables in their libraries, but omit
them from the header files.
All implementations which provide terminfo interfaces add definitions
as described in the Terminfo Names section. Most, but not all, base
the definition upon the cur_term variable.
This page is part of the ncurses (new curses) project. Information
about the project can be found at
⟨https://www.gnu.org/software/ncurses/ncurses.html⟩. If you have a
bug report for this manual page, send it to
firstname.lastname@example.org. This page was obtained from the
project's upstream Git mirror of the CVS repository
⟨git://ncurses.scripts.mit.edu/ncurses.git⟩ on 2020-07-14. (At that
time, the date of the most recent commit that was found in the repos‐
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