tic -- terminfo compiler


tic [ -v [ n ] ] [ -c ] file


The tic command translates a terminfo(F) file from the source format into the compiled format. The results are placed in the directory /usr/lib/terminfo. The compiled format is necessary for use with the library routines described in curses(S).

-v n
(Verbose) output to standard error trace information showing tic's progress. The optional integer n is a number from 1 to 10, inclusive, indicating the desired level of detail of information. If n is omitted, the default level is 1. If n is specified and greater than 1, the level of detail is increased.

Only check file for errors. Errors in use= links are not detected.

Contains one or more terminfo terminal descriptions in source format. Each description in the file describes the capabilities of a particular terminal. When a ``use=entry-name'' field is discovered in a terminal entry currently being compiled, tic reads in the binary from /usr/lib/terminfo to complete the entry. (Entries created from file will be used first. If the environment variable TERMINFO is set, that directory is searched instead of /usr/lib/terminfo.) tic duplicates the capabilities in ``entry-name'' for the current entry, with the exception of those capabilities that are explicitly defined in the current entry.
If the environment variable TERMINFO is set, the compiled results are placed there instead of /usr/lib/terminfo.


Most diagnostic messages produced by tic during the compilation of the source file are preceded with the approximate line number and the name of the terminal currently being worked on.

mkdir ... returned bad status
The named directory could not be created.

File does not start with terminal names in column one
The first thing seen in the file, after comments, must be the list of terminal names.

Token after an lseek(S) not NAMES
Somehow the file being compiled changed during the compilation.

Not enough memory for use_list element


Out of memory
Not enough free memory was available ( malloc(S) failed).

Can't open ...
The named file could not be created.

Error in writing ...
The named file could not be written to.

Can't link ... to ...
A link failed.

Error in re-reading compiled file ...
The compiled file could not be read back in.

Premature EOF
The current entry ended prematurely.

Backspaced off beginning of line
This error indicates an error happened within tic.

Unknown Capability - ``...''
The named invalid capability was found within the file.

Wrong type used for capability ``...''
For example, a string capability was given a numeric value.

Unknown token type
Tokens must be followed by ``@'' to cancel, ``,'' for Booleans, ``#'' for numbers, or ``='' for strings.



Line ...: Illegal terminal name - ``...''

Terminal names must start with a letter or digit
The given name was invalid. Names must not contain white space or slashes, and must begin with a letter or digit.

``...'': terminal name too long.
An extremely long terminal name was found.

``...'': terminal name too short
A one-letter name was found.

``...'' filename too long, truncating to ``...''
The given name was truncated to 14 characters due to filename length limitations.

``...'' defined in more than one entry. Entry being used is ``...''.
An entry was found more than once.

Terminal name ``...'' synonym for itself
A name was listed twice in the list of synonyms.

At least one synonym should begin with a letter
At least one of the names of the terminal should begin with a letter.

Illegal character - ``...''
The given invalid character was found in the input file.

New-line in middle of terminal name
The trailing comma was probably left off the list of names.

Missing comma
A comma was missing.

Missing numeric value
The number was missing after a numeric capability.

NULL string value
The proper way to say that a string capability does not exist is to cancel it.

Very long string found. Missing comma?
A comma was anticipated but not found.

Unknown option. Usage is:
An invalid option was entered.

Too many file names. Usage is:


``...'' nonexistent or permission denied
The given directory could not be written into.

``...'' is not a directory


``...'': Permission denied
Access denied.

``...'': Not a directory
tic wanted to use the given name as a directory, but it already exists as a file

SYSTEM ERROR!! Fork failed!!!
A fork(S) failed.

Error in following up use-links. Either there is a loop in the

links or they reference nonexistent terminals. The following is a

list of the entries involved:

A terminfo entry with a ``use=name'' capability either referenced a nonexistent terminal called name or name somehow referred back to the given entry.


Total compiled entries cannot exceed 4096 bytes. The name field cannot exceed 128 bytes.

Terminal names exceeding 14 characters will be truncated to 14 characters and a warning message will be printed.

When the -c option is used, duplicate terminal names will not be diagnosed; however, when -c is not used, they will be.

To allow existing executables from the previous release of the system to continue to run with the compiled terminfo entries created by the new terminfo compiler, canceled capabilities will not be marked as canceled within the terminfo binary unless the entry name has a ``+'' within it. (Such terminal names are only used for inclusion within other entries via a use= entry. Such names would not be used for real terminal names.)

For example:

   4415+nl, kf1@, kf2@, ...

4415+base, kf1=\EOc, kf2=\EOd, ...

4415-nl|4415 terminal without keys, use=4415+nl, use=4415+base,

The above example works as expected; the definitions for the keys do not show up in the 4415-nl entry. However, if the entry 4415+nl did not have a plus sign within its name, the cancellations would not be marked within the compiled file and the definitions for the function keys would not be canceled within 4415-nl.


compiled terminal description database

See also

captoinfo(ADM), curses(S), infocmp(ADM), term(M), terminfo(F)

Standards conformance

tic is conformant with:

AT&T SVID Issue 2.

© 2003 Caldera International, Inc. All rights reserved.
SCO OpenServer Release 5.0.7 -- 11 February 2003