Red Hat Bugzilla – Bug 2069
Problem with F1..F4 and xterm vs. nxterm / termcap and terminfo
Last modified: 2008-05-01 11:37:49 EDT
The xterm and nxterm programs under at least RH 5.1 and 5.2
use the SAME termcap entries but exhibit DIFFERENT
characteristics. To demonstrate, open an xterm and an
nxterm, and in each type 'cat >/dev/null' and then
press F1 through F8
then ctrl-c and do a 'printenv TERM'. The net result is that
any text-based program which uses function keys will fail
depending upon which type of xterm the end user is using. An
obvious solution is to have the nxterm use the 'nxterm'
terminal type, except this won't work properly because there
is no /etc/termcap entry for nxterm (there IS a terminfo
So the problems are:
#1: xterm and nxterm behave differently but claim to be
#2: the terminfo database is inconsistent with the termcap
(Note: Modern xterm implementations such as Solaris seem to
be using the nxterm function key method. For maximum
interoperability with remote-logins it is best to at least
try to use the same conventions as everyone else)
nxterm has been dropped from the distribution in 5.9beta and later.
Modern xterms do everything that nxterm did and more.