I have ssh access to a remote machine. In this machine if I run
echo $TERM I get
If I want to change my terminal emulator to some other emulator (assuming that it's installed on the remote machine), how would I do it?
The value of the environment variable TERM is used by the server (in system V, or BSD, derived OSes) to control how input is recognized by the system, and what capabilities exist for output. Some terminal types are similar enough that they can be interchanged while still remaining usefull, while others could make the system unusable until you open a new connection with a supported value for TERM. For example, from one Linux system to another, you would probably experience very little difference between vt100, vt220, and xterm settings. Most of the differences would be in how output is displayed, and whether colors or bold fonts are available to that type of terminal. The termcap database lists all the terminal types, with their various capabilities.
As long as you don't switch to a terminal type that your keyboard and screen aren't compatible with, you'll be fine.
read the man page for term, and termcap, on your system for more information.
To change the terminal type:
in bourne shell or ksh:
TERM=vt100 export TERM
in csh or tcsh:
setenv TERM vt100
vt100 is a pretty safe terminal to start playing with. it's compatible with xterm, but it doesn't display colors or bold fonts, and may not recognize your F* keys, but you're unlikely to really mess anything up using vt100.
A lot of people use terminal detection in personal init scripts to optimize their user experience depending how how they're logging into the server. For example, set a plain PS1 if you're using vt100, use color and dynamic variables when using bash in an xterm.
Good luck with your research.
Your console or terminal or PuTTY instance on the LOCAL side is the actual "terminal emulator", even though nowadays we just shorten then to "terminals". The usage stems from back when people actually used monitor-and-keyboard terminals to sign on to a mainframe server rather than using multiple consoles and graphical user environments.
The $TERM variable simply tells the remote system what kind of control codes your terminal will understand when it sends them (for instance, to generate text-based menus or anything based on libncurses).
I'm not sure what exactly you want to accomplish, but changing $TERM probably won't help.