I am trying to select best term for UNIX terminal , checked the term information post , but when I try to get information about ls /lib/term* its not defined.

However I did find ls /lib/libtermcap.so and various such libtermcap.so.2 libtermcap.so.2.0.8 and other data , but all of them are in binary format so I can't read them.

Here is my question.

  • How to select best Term for my applications?
  • How to know about all available term information?

1 Answer 1


The supported terminal capability depends on your terminal emulator (xterm, ...). The terminal emulator should set the term info correctly. It does usually not make much sense to use "another terminal" (except maybe xterm-256color instead of xterm or if the $TERM variable is set wrongly).

You should use libraries like ncurses which deals automatically with the different terminal capability. Your program should not depend on a specific terminal.

The supported terminals are usually listed in /lib/terminfo/*/* or /usr/share/terminfo/*/*.

  • $term and $TERM are set to xterm. I found the info at /usr/share/terminfo/*/* lots of term versions are defined. Will see to them. Dec 3, 2014 at 9:16

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