tgetent, tgetflag, tgetnum, tgetstr, tgoto, tputs - direct curses
interface to the terminfo capability database
int tgetent(char *bp, const char *name);
int tgetflag(char *id);
int tgetnum(char *id);
char *tgetstr(char *id, char **area);
char *tgoto(const char *cap, int col, int row);
int tputs(const char *str, int affcnt, int (*putc)(int));
These routines are included as a conversion aid for programs that use
the termcap library. Their parameters are the same and the routines
are emulated using the terminfo database. Thus, they can only be used
to query the capabilities of entries for which a terminfo entry has
The tgetent routine loads the entry for name. It returns 1 on success,
0 if there is no such entry, and -1 if the terminfo database could not
be found. The emulation ignores the buffer pointer bp.
The tgetflag routine gets the boolean entry for id, or zero if it is
The tgetnum routine gets the numeric entry for id, or -1 if it is not
The tgetstr routine returns the string entry for id, or zero if it is
not available. Use tputs to output the returned string. The return
value will also be copied to the buffer pointed to by area, and the
area value will be updated to point past the null ending this value.
Only the first two characters of the id parameter of tgetflag, tgetnum
and tgetstr are compared in lookups.
The tgoto routine instantiates the parameters into the given capabil‐
ity. The output from this routine is to be passed to tputs.
The tputs routine is described on the curs_terminfo(3X) manual page.
It can retrieve capabilities by either termcap or terminfo name.
Except where explicitly noted, routines that return an integer return
ERR upon failure and OK (SVr4 only specifies "an integer value other
than ERR") upon successful completion.
Routines that return pointers return NULL on error.
If you call tgetstr to fetch ca or any other parameterized string, be
aware that it will be returned in terminfo notation, not the older and
not-quite-compatible termcap notation. This won't cause problems if
all you do with it is call tgoto or tparm, which both expand terminfo-
style strings as terminfo. (The tgoto function, if configured to sup‐
port termcap, will check if the string is indeed terminfo-style by
looking for "%p" parameters or "$<..>" delays, and invoke a termcap-
style parser if the string does not appear to be terminfo).
Because terminfo conventions for representing padding in string capa‐
bilities differ from termcap's, tputs("50"); will put out a literal
"50" rather than busy-waiting for 50 milliseconds. Cope with it.
The XSI Curses standard, Issue 4 describes these functions. However,
they are marked TO BE WITHDRAWN and may be removed in future versions.
Neither the XSI Curses standard nor the SVr4 man pages documented the
return values of tgetent correctly, though all three were in fact
returned ever since SVr1. In particular, an omission in the XSI Curses
documentation has been misinterpreted to mean that tgetent returns OK
or ERR. Because the purpose of these functions is to provide compati‐
bility with the termcap library, that is a defect in XCurses, Issue 4,
Version 2 rather than in ncurses.
SEE ALSOcurses(3X), terminfo(5), putc(3S).