6.21. Ncurses-5.4

The Ncurses package contains libraries for terminal-independent handling of character screens.

Approximate build time: 0.6 SBU
Required disk space: 18.6 MB
Installation depends on: Bash, Binutils, Coreutils, Diffutils, Gawk, GCC, Glibc, Grep, Make, and Sed

6.21.1. Installation of Ncurses

Prepare Ncurses for compilation:

./configure --prefix=/usr --with-shared --without-debug

Compile the package:


This package does not come with a test suite.

Install the package:

make install

Give the Ncurses libraries execute permissions:

chmod -v 755 /usr/lib/*.5.4

Fix a library that should not be executable:

chmod -v 644 /usr/lib/libncurses++.a

Move the libraries to the /lib directory, where they are expected to reside:

mv -v /usr/lib/libncurses.so.5* /lib

Because the libraries have been moved, a few symlinks point to non-existent files. Recreate those symlinks:

ln -sfv ../../lib/libncurses.so.5 /usr/lib/libncurses.so
ln -sfv libncurses.so /usr/lib/libcurses.so

6.21.2. Contents of Ncurses

Installed programs: captoinfo (link to tic), clear, infocmp, infotocap (link to tic), reset (link to tset), tack, tic, toe, tput, and tset
Installed libraries: libcurses.[a,so] (link to libncurses.[a,so]), libform.[a,so], libmenu.[a,so], libncurses++.a, libncurses.[a,so], and libpanel.[a,so]

Short Descriptions


Converts a termcap description into a terminfo description


Clears the screen, if possible


Compares or prints out terminfo descriptions


Converts a terminfo description into a termcap description


Reinitializes a terminal to its default values


The terminfo action checker; it is mainly used to test the accuracy of an entry in the terminfo database


The terminfo entry-description compiler that translates a terminfo file from source format into the binary format needed for the ncurses library routines. A terminfo file contains information on the capabilities of a certain terminal


Lists all available terminal types, giving the primary name and description for each


Makes the values of terminal-dependent capabilities available to the shell; it can also be used to reset or initialize a terminal or report its long name


Can be used to initialize terminals


A link to libncurses


Contains functions to display text in many complex ways on a terminal screen; a good example of the use of these functions is the menu displayed during the kernel's make menuconfig


Contains functions to implement forms


Contains functions to implement menus


Contains functions to implement panels