[Techtalk] prevent screen from clearing

Akkana Peck akkana at shallowsky.com
Thu Sep 29 13:38:03 EST 2005

David Sumbler writes:
> I mostly use virtual consoles (i.e. not using X).  I've looked at
> various man pages etc. and got a bit bewildered.  On my Fedora Core 4
> system I seem to have $TERM set to 'linux'.  But when I tried to look
> at /usr/share/terminfo/l/linux I found that it is not human-readable.
> 'file' reports "RISC OS archive (spark format)".

Oh, mine are too!

It was quite a while ago that I made this terminfo entry, and I
don't remember exactly how I got the source for it. But man 5
terminfo makes reference to a compiled format (without going
into much detail), and the "SEE ALSO" section mentions tic.
tic (man tic) seems to be the program that does the translation,
but it doesn't seem to have a "decompile back to source format"

There might be a program somewhere to do that (check the other
man pages referenced under SEE ALSO) but the easiest solution
might just be to get the source for the appropriate package.
I'm an ubuntu system right now, and it says /etc/terminfo/l/linux
is owned by package ncurses-base, so that might be where the source
for the terminfo entries lives.

man 5 terminfo is a pretty good overview of the various
capabilities, incidentally, so it's a worthwhile read if you're
going to do any terminfo hacking.

I'd be interested in hearing what you end up doing. If you find
a decompiler or if you use the source package. And if you make a
linux-noalt terminfo entry and want to make it available, let me
know so I can link to it (or just put it on my site next to the
one I made, if that's easier for you).

BTW, someone sent me mail pointing out that less has a -X option
to ignore the alt screen. So people who are bugged by less but not
by vi can use that as a workaround (set your environment variable
LESS or MORE to "-X" if you want it to be set all the time without
needing to type it).


More information about the Techtalk mailing list