tic [-01CDGIKLNTUVacfgqrstx] [-e names] [-o dir] [-Q[n]] [-R subset] [-v[n]] [-w[n]] file
The tic command translates a terminfo file from source format into compiled format. The compiled format is necessary for use with the library routines in ncurses(3NCURSES).
As described in term(5), the database may be either a directory tree (one file per terminal entry) or a hashed database (one record per entry). The tic command writes only one type of entry, depending on how it was built:
In either case (directory or hashed database), tic will create the container if it does not exist. For a directory, this would be the "terminfo" leaf, versus a "terminfo.db" file.
The results are normally placed in the system terminfo database /etc/terminfo. The compiled terminal description can be placed in a different terminfo database. There are two ways to achieve this:
Libraries that read terminfo entries are expected to check in succession
The debug flag levels are as follows:
If the debug level n is not given, it is taken to be one.
All but one of the capabilities recognized by tic are documented in terminfo(5). The exception is the use capability.
When a use=entry-name field is discovered in a terminal entry currently being compiled, tic reads in the binary from /etc/terminfo to complete the entry. (Entries created from file will be used first. tic duplicates the capabilities in entry-name for the current entry, with the exception of those capabilities that explicitly are defined in the current entry.
When an entry, e.g., entry_name_1, contains a use=entry_name_2 field, any canceled capabilities in entry_name_2 must also appear in entry_name_1 before use= for these capabilities to be canceled in entry_name_1.
Total compiled entries cannot exceed 4096 bytes. The name field cannot exceed 512 bytes. Terminal names exceeding the maximum alias length (32 characters on systems with long filenames, 14 characters otherwise) will be truncated to the maximum alias length and a warning message will be printed.
There is some evidence that historic tic implementations treated description fields with no whitespace in them as additional aliases or short names. This tic does not do that, but it does warn when description fields may be treated that way and check them for dangerous characters.
Unlike the SVr4 tic command, this implementation can actually compile termcap sources. In fact, entries in terminfo and termcap syntax can be mixed in a single source file. See terminfo(5) for the list of termcap names taken to be equivalent to terminfo names.
The SVr4 manual pages are not clear on the resolution rules for use capabilities. This implementation of tic will find use targets anywhere in the source file, or anywhere in the file tree rooted at TERMINFO (if TERMINFO is defined), or in the user's $HOME/.terminfo database (if it exists), or (finally) anywhere in the system's file tree of compiled entries.
The error messages from this tic have the same format as GNU C error messages, and can be parsed by GNU Emacs's compile facility.
The -0, -1, -C, -G, -I, -N, -R, -T, -V, -a, -e, -f, -g, -o, -r, -s, -t and -x options are not supported under SVr4. The SVr4 -c mode does not report bad use links.
System V does not compile entries to or read entries from your $HOME/.terminfo database unless TERMINFO is explicitly set to it.
infocmp(1), captoinfo(1), infotocap(1), toe(1), ncurses(3NCURSES), term(5). terminfo(5).
This describes ncurses version 6.0 (patch 20160625).
Eric S. Raymond <email@example.com> and Thomas E. Dickey <firstname.lastname@example.org>