Subject: Re: color in console
To: Florian Stoehr <>
From: Pavel Cahyna <>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 10/08/2004 14:24:11
On Fri, 08 Oct 2004 11:09:19 +0000, Florian Stoehr wrote:

> On Fri, 8 Oct 2004, Peter Bex wrote:
>> On Fri, Oct 08, 2004 at 09:53:43AM +0100, Julian Coleman wrote:
>>> The termcap definition for the vt220 (*) does not contain colour.  I'm
>>> fairly sure that real DEC VT220's didn't support it, so it shouldn't be in
>>> the entry.  The WSCONS console is a superset of vt220 and supports colour
>>> (unless you have selected Sun emulation).  So, you can use wsvt25 or
>>> wsvt25m as your terminal type in order to get colour support on the
>>> console.
>> Ah, so that is the recommended setting...  Then, why isn't this the default
>> on freshly installed systems?

I guess because if you do a telnet or ssh to another system, your TERM
variable is propagated, but many systems don't have wsvt25 in their

>> If there are good reasons to set it to vt220 by default, isn't it an
>> option to have sysinst at least ask if you would like to change to
>> wsvt25?

There is a worse thing than lack of color... the function keys are
incorrect. If you press F10, programs will think that you pressed F9. (Or
vice versa, I don't remember.) Try to use e.g. sushi with that... Setting
TERM to wsvt25 fixes it.

Comments in termcaps indicate that there are two ways to interpret
function keys on a "real" vt220. Unfortunately the one which is
incompatible with wscons is the default (the other is vt220d). BTW in
linux terminfo the other is the default. Perhaps the meaning of
vt220 and vt220d should be exchanged, so at least function keys work
correctly by default, if colors don't.

>> IMHO a system should have settings that are optimal, if reasonably
>> possible unless breaking on other systems or leading to security
>> hazards.  If the terminal supports color, a color-enabled term setting
>> is the optimal so should be the default.

I agree, and a system should at least be compatible with itself.

> Tip: Try "TERM=screen", then you'll get colours AND correct special
> characters (in midnight commander e.g.).

How is this better than wsvt25 which also has colours and correct special
characters (according to my experience)?

Bye	Pavel