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captoinfo(1) User commands captoinfo(1)


captoinfo - convert a termcap description into a terminfo description


captoinfo [tic-option] [file ...]

captoinfo -V


captoinfo translates terminal descriptions. It looks in each given text file for termcap entries and, for each one found, writes an equivalent terminfo description to the standard output stream. termcap tc capabilities translate to terminfouse” capabilities.

If no files are specified, captoinfo interprets the content of the environment variable TERMCAP as a file name, and extracts only the entry for the terminal named in the environment variable TERM from it. If the environment variable TERMCAP is not set, captoinfo reads /etc/termcap.

This utility is implemented as a link to tic(1), with the latter's -I option implied. You can use other tic options such as -1, -f, -v, -w, and -x. The -V option reports the version of ncurses associated with this program and exits with a successful status.

Translations from Nonstandard Capabilities

captoinfo translates some obsolete, nonstandard capabilities into standard (SVr4/XSI Curses) terminfo capabilities. It issues a diagnostic to the standard error stream for each, inviting the user to check that it has not mistakenly translated an unknown or mistyped capability name.

Obsolete Standard Origin terminfo capability
BO mr AT&T enter_reverse_mode
CI vi AT&T cursor_invisible
CV ve AT&T cursor_normal
DS mh AT&T enter_dim_mode
EE me AT&T exit_attribute_mode
FE LF AT&T label_on
FL LO AT&T label_off
XS mk AT&T enter_secure_mode
EN @7 XENIX key_end
GE ae XENIX exit_alt_charset_mode
GS as XENIX enter_alt_charset_mode
HM kh XENIX key_home
LD kL XENIX key_dl
PD kN XENIX key_npage
PN po XENIX prtr_off
PS pf XENIX prtr_on
PU kP XENIX key_ppage
RT @8 XENIX kent
UP ku XENIX kcuu1
KA k; Tektronix key_f10
KB F1 Tektronix key_f11
KC F2 Tektronix key_f12
KD F3 Tektronix key_f13
KE F4 Tektronix key_f14
KF F5 Tektronix key_f15
BC Sb Tektronix set_background
FC Sf Tektronix set_foreground
HS mh IRIX enter_dim_mode

XENIX termcap had a set of extension capabilities, corresponding to box drawing characters of CCSID (“code page”) 437, as follows.

termcap Name Graphic
G2 upper left corner
G3 lower left corner
G1 upper right corner
G4 lower right corner
GR tee pointing right
GL tee pointing left
GU tee pointing up
GD tee pointing down
GH horizontal line
GV vertical line
GC intersection
G6 double upper left corner
G7 double lower left corner
G5 double upper right corner
G8 double lower right corner
Gr double tee pointing right
Gr double tee pointing left
Gu double tee pointing up
Gd double tee pointing down
Gh double horizontal line
Gv double vertical line
Gc double intersection
GG ACS magic cookie count

captoinfo composes single-line capabilities into an acsc string, and discards GG and double-line capabilities with a warning diagnostic.

IBM's AIX has a terminfo facility descended from SVr1 terminfo, but which is incompatible with the SVr4 format. captoinfo translates the following AIX extensions.

ksel kslt
kbtab kcbt
font0 s0ds
font1 s1ds
font2 s2ds
font3 s3ds

Additionally, this program translates the AIX box1 capability to an acsc string.

The HP-UX terminfo library supports two nonstandard terminfo capabilities, meml (memory lock) and memu (memory unlock). captoinfo discards these with a warning message.


default termcap terminal capability database


X/Open Curses, Issue 7 (2009) describes tic briefly, but omits this program.

SVr4 systems provide captoinfo as a separate application from tic. Its -v option does not accept a trace level argument n; repeat -v n times instead.

NetBSD does not provide this application.


Eric S. Raymond <> and
Thomas E. Dickey <>


infocmp(1), tic(1), ncurses(3NCURSES), terminfo(5)

2024-03-23 ncurses 6.5