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captoinfo(1) General Commands Manual captoinfo(1)


captoinfo - convert a termcap description into a terminfo description


captoinfo [-vn width] [-V] [-1] [-w width] file ...


captoinfo looks in each given text file for termcap descriptions. For each one found, an equivalent terminfo description is written to standard output. Termcap tc capabilities are translated directly to terminfo use capabilities.

If no file is given, then the environment variable TERMCAP is used for the filename or entry. If TERMCAP is a full pathname to a file, only the terminal whose name is specified in the environment variable TERM is extracted from that file. If the environment variable TERMCAP is not set, then the file /etc/terminfo is read.

print out tracing information on standard error as the program runs.
print out the version of the program in use on standard error and exit.
cause the fields to print out one to a line. Otherwise, the fields will be printed several to a line to a maximum width of 60 characters.
change the output to width characters.


Compiled terminal description database.


Some obsolete nonstandard capabilities will automatically be translated into standard (SVr4/XSI Curses) terminfo capabilities by captoinfo. Whenever one of these automatic translations is done, the program will issue an notification to stderr, inviting the user to check that it has not mistakenly translated a completely unknown and random capability and/or syntax error.

Nonstd Std From Terminfo
name name 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; Tek key_f10
KB F1 Tek key_f11
KC F2 Tek key_f12
KD F3 Tek key_f13
KE F4 Tek key_f14
KF F5 Tek key_f15
BC Sb Tek set_background
FC Sf Tek set_foreground
HS mh Iris enter_dim_mode

XENIX termcap also used to have a set of extension capabilities for forms drawing, designed to take advantage of the IBM PC high-half graphics. They were as follows:

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

If the single-line capabilities occur in an entry, they will automatically be composed into an acsc string. The double-line capabilities and GG are discarded with a warning message.

IBM's AIX has a terminfo facility descended from SVr1 terminfo but incompatible with the SVr4 format. The following AIX extensions are automatically translated:

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

Additionally, the AIX box1 capability will be automatically translated to an acsc string.

Hewlett-Packard's terminfo library supports two nonstandard terminfo capabilities meml (memory lock) and memu (memory unlock). These will be discarded with a warning message.


This utility is actually a link to tic(1), running in -I mode. You can use other tic options such as -f and -x.

The verbose option is not identical to SVr4's. Under SVr4, instead of following the -v with a trace level n, you repeat it n times.


X/Open Curses, Issue 7 (2009) describes tic briefly, but omits this program. SVr4 systems provide captoinfo as a separate application from tic.

NetBSD does not provide this application.


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

This describes ncurses version 6.4 (patch 20221231).


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