Subject: Re: misc/10127: port i386 /etc/ttys says vt220 instead of wsvt25
To: Manuel Bouyer <>
From: Greg A. Woods <>
List: netbsd-bugs
Date: 05/16/2000 15:48:13
[ On Tuesday, May 16, 2000 at 18:41:53 (+0200), Manuel Bouyer wrote: ]
> Subject: Re: misc/10127: port i386 /etc/ttys says vt220 instead of wsvt25
> On Tue, May 16, 2000 at 12:30:34PM -0400, Greg A. Woods wrote:
> > That's not a problem.  You should copy the full terminal definition over
> > to the "losing" system, and use it -- you'll get the best of both worlds!
> > 
> > This is something that people using terminals to connect to Unix hosts
> > have done for many years -- only recently with the proliferation of X11
> > has much of this been hidden from many users courtesy the universal
> > applicability of a common "xterm" terminal type.
> Sure, but a user that can do this can also change /etc/ttys !

Nope.  Those are two different classes of users.  One's at least a
junior sys-admin with the root password, the other's just a shell user.

You don't need to be a superuser to set your terminal type and to
provide the necessary terminal capabilities database entries, at least
not on any Unix or unix-like system I've ever used....

> There is also the termcap vs terminfo issue which may make the problem
> harder (I guess you have to change both files, isn't it ?).

By necessity all terminfo systems have the tool(s) necessary to do the
conversions (captoinfo, infocmp).  Certainly this issue raises the bar a
bit, but nothing anyone capable of reading a manual page should have any
trouble with.  It's quite likely that the remote system's administrator
would be willing to help too, though of course this is where politics
enters the picture!  ;-)

Except for a few weird and site-specific exceptions I've never seen any
base vendor-supplied system software that required one to have both
terminfo and termcap databases available simultaneously (at least not
within any given "universe" -- Pyramid's dual universe system faithfully
provided termcap in the BSD universe and terminfo in the ATT universe,
but never the twain shall meet in real life!).

The only really brain-dead environment I ever had to manage was a site
running ATT-SysVr3.0 (on an NCR Tower) and using Wordperfect for Unix.
That damn Wordperfect insisted on using its own highly customised
termcap file (ignoring the system's native terminfo database).  I had to
write both terminfo and WP-tcap entries for every new kind of terminal
we bought....  It also had its own printer configuration goo, but that's
another story!

> Hum, I ddin't have enouth coffe when I wrote this - I meant the 'linux'
> terminal type. This one is harder because none of the standart term type seems
> to work rigth.

Ah, well, yes then the only solution is to copy the terminal type
database entries to the remote system.  It's really no different in
concept than having any unique terminal type, whether it's a console
emulation or a real terminal....  If you really don't want to copy the
terminal type entries to all the remote systems you use then the only
viable alternative (i.e. other than ditching the terminal altogether) is
to use something like "screen" that provides terminal emulation of some
really widely known terminal type on your local system where hopefully a
full terminal definition for your unique terminal is available.

							Greg A. Woods

+1 416 218-0098      VE3TCP      <>      <robohack!woods>
Planix, Inc. <>; Secrets of the Weird <>