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Manual Pages  — TPUT


tput, clear – terminal capability interface



tput [-T term] attribute ...


The tput utility makes terminal-dependent information available to users or shell applications. When invoked as the clear utility, the screen will be cleared as if

    tput clear

had been executed. The options to tput are as follows:
  The terminal name as specified in the termcap(5) database, for example, "vt100" or "xterm". If not specified, tput retrieves the " TERM" variable from the environment.

The tput utility outputs a string for each attribute that is of type string; a number for each of type integer. Otherwise, tput exits 0 if the terminal has the capability and 1 if it does not, without further action.

If an attribute is of type string, and takes arguments (e.g. cursor movement, the termcap "cm" sequence) the arguments are taken from the command line immediately following the attribute.

The following special attributes are available:
clear Clear the screen (the termcap(5) "cl" sequence).
init Initialize the terminal (the termcap(5) "is" sequence).
  Print the descriptive name of the user's terminal type.
reset Reset the terminal (the termcap(5) "rs" sequence).


The exit status of tput is as follows:
0 If the last attribute attribute argument is of type string or integer, its value was successfully written to standard output. If the argument is of type boolean, the terminal has this attribute.
1 This terminal does not have the specified boolean attribute.
2 Usage error.
3 No information is available about the specified terminal type.


termcap(5), terminfo(5)


The tput utility conforms to IEEE Std 1003.1-2001 ("POSIX.1").


The tput utility appeared in BSD 4.4 .


The tput utility cannot really distinguish between different types of attributes.

Some termcap entries depend upon having a '%' in them that is just a '%' and nothing more. Right now we just warn about them if they do not have a valid type declaration. These warnings are sent to stderr.

TPUT (1) June 15, 2002

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Please direct any comments about this manual page service to Ben Bullock.

On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question.
— Charles Babbage