Is there a terminal linux? I was experimenting with the machine to see how the virtual terminals work and when I echo $TERM it printed linux? Is this the default linux terminal? I tried searching for man pages on linux but only results about the operating system return.
Yes, there is a terminal description identified by the name
infocmp program will show you the details of a given terminal identifier. On Debian-based systems,
infocmp is in the
$ infocmp linux # Reconstructed via infocmp from file: /lib/terminfo/l/linux ...
I've elided the escape codes for the capabilities. The man page for
terminfo(5) describes all the capabilities and what they mean.
TERM environment variable identifies a terminal description. The name
linux has been used since its introduction in ncurses in 1994 as the preferred name for Linux console (rather than
The ncurses terminal database defines more than a dozen variants, which some people use. In the terminal database,
linux is an alias for the version which most people are expected to use. Most people use the alias, for the usual reasons relating to terminal descriptions:
- while changing the alias is trivial (using infocmp and tic), most people don't modify their terminal database to point the alias to a different version,
- the name is used in the
gettydefinitions (or equivalent), and again, most people don't change that, and of course
- some programs (such as GNU ls) have their own idea about how to manage the
linuxname (and do not bother to use the terminal database).
Expanding on that last item, the initial version of GNU ls in June 1996 used these names for values of
TERM that supported color:
TERM linux TERM console TERM con132x25 TERM con132x30 TERM con132x43 TERM con132x60 TERM con80x25 TERM con80x28 TERM con80x30 TERM con80x43 TERM con80x50 TERM con80x60 TERM xterm TERM vt100
using several "console" variants which were not ever provided by ncurses but apparently had some use. That likely motivated the comment in ncurses'
INSTALL (first seen in September 1995):
In various systems there has been a practice of designating the system console driver type as `console'. Please do not do this! It complicates peoples' lives, because it can mean that several different terminfo entries from different operating systems all logically want to be called `console'.
TERM con[0-9]*x[0-9]* TERM linux TERM linux-c