Best way to set TERMINFO for use with urxvt?

Jeremy Huddleston jeremyhu at
Sun Mar 20 11:09:17 PDT 2011

sudo cp /opt/local/share/terminfo/72/rxvt-unicode* /usr/share/terminfo/72

On Mar 20, 2011, at 10:29, Richard Cobbe wrote:

> I'm thinking of switching from using XQuartz's xterm to using MacPorts's
> urxvt, and I'm looking for the best way to deal with the supporting
> terminfo definitions.
> I've got 2 macs, both running Mac OS 10.6.6.
> The basic problem is that, by default, urxvt starts up with
> TERM=rxvt-unicode-256color, but /usr/share/terminfo doesn't contain a
> matching entry, so I get a "WARNING: terminal is not fully functional"
> message any time I try to do something interesting.
> I've come up with the following possible strategies for dealing with this:
> 1) Forcibly reset TERM to xterm within urxvt.  This appears to work for all
> of the complicated terminal things that I tend to do in my terminals: less,
> vim, mutt, gls --color=always.
> 2) Start urxvt in an environment where TERMINFO=/opt/local/share/terminfo.
> Now processes can see the terminfo entry, and everything works as expected
> -- at least with processes on the local machine.  But when I ssh into my
> other Mac (which also has MacPorts and rxvt-unicode installed), I get the
> "WARNING: terminal is not fully functional" error message again.  I suppose
> I could put something in my login scripts to set TERMINFO when necessary
> and appropriate.
> I'm not sufficiently familiar with how terminal settings behave on Unix to
> know if there are any hidden problems with either of these options.  Do
> either of these look like the right way to go?  Or is there another
> solution I haven't listed here?
> Recommendations very welcome.
> Thanks,
> Richard
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