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man pages section 1: User Commands

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Updated: July 2017

tput (1g)


tput - initialize a terminal or query terminfo database


tput [-Ttype] capname [parms ... ]
tput [-Ttype] init
tput [-Ttype] reset
tput [-Ttype] longname
tput -S  <<
tput -V


tput(1)                     General Commands Manual                    tput(1)

       tput, reset - initialize a terminal or query terminfo database

       tput [-Ttype] capname [parms ... ]
       tput [-Ttype] init
       tput [-Ttype] reset
       tput [-Ttype] longname
       tput -S  <<
       tput -V

       The  tput utility uses the terminfo database to make the values of ter-
       minal-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 capa-
       bility'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 terminfo(5).

       -Ttype indicates the type of terminal.  Normally this option is  unnec-
              essary,  because the default is taken from the environment vari-
              able TERM.  If -T is specified, then the shell  variables  LINES
              and COLUMNS will be ignored,and the operating system will not be
              queried for the actual screen size.

              indicates the capability from the terminfo database.  When term-
              cap  support is compiled in, the termcap name for the capability
              is also accepted.

       parms  If the capability is a string that takes parameters,  the  argu-
              ments parms will be instantiated into the string.

              Most  parameters  are numbers.  Only a few terminfo 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 substitution.

       -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 cap-
              name is allowed per line.  The -S option changes the meaning  of
              the  0  and  1 boolean and string exit codes (see the EXIT CODES

              Again, 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

              If  an  entry does not contain the information needed for any of
              the four  above  activities,  that  activity  will  silently  be

       reset  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 terminfo 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  data-
              base [see term(5)].

       If  tput  is invoked by a link named reset, this has the same effect as
       tput reset.  See tset for comparison, which has similar behavior.

       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

       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 termi-
            nal.  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  termi-
            nated by an exclamation mark (!) on a line by itself.

              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)

       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 cap-

                   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 ter-
                   minal  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.

       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

       The  longname  and  -S options, and the parameter-substitution features
       used in the cup example, are not supported in BSD curses or in AT&T/USL
       curses before SVr4.

       X/Open  documents only the operands for clear, init and reset.  In this
       implementation, clear is part of the capname support.  Other  implemen-
       tations  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 op-
       erands.   A  few platforms such as FreeBSD and NetBSD recognize termcap
       names rather than terminfo capability names in  their  respective  tput

       See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following attributes:

       |Availability   | library/ncurses  |
       |Stability      | Uncommitted      |
       clear(1), stty(1), tabs(1), terminfo(5).

       This describes ncurses version 5.7 (patch 20081102).

       This     software     was    built    from    source    available    at
       https://java.net/projects/solaris-userland.   The  original   community
       source                was                downloaded                from

       Further information about this software can be found on the open source
       community website at http://www.gnu.org/software/ncurses/.