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I'd like terminal Emacs to observe the current value of cursor-style when the current terminal emulator supports commands to change the cursor.

For example: MinTTY is the default terminal emulator for Cygwin. According to this page, it supports changing cursor styles using the following escape sequences:

  • \e[1 q for a block cursor.
  • \e[5 q for a bar cursor.

Other terminal emulators that support these escapes include the VTE-based emulators (gnome-terminal and friends) and xterm and its derivatives.

Currently, hacks exist for evil-mode that attempt to simulate this support. Unfortunately, these break when the terminal doesn't support said escapes. Here's a question to see if that's fixable.

As far as I can tell, Emacs doesn't support changing the cursor natively. Is there any way we can support it without relying on a package like evil?

  • Do you want to change the cursor type globally, or to obey cursor-type in the current buffer? AFAIK Emacs doesn't support changing the cursor type according to the current buffer on text terminals, but you can set visible-cursor to switch between two cursors globally (I don't know whether that toggles between block and bar, but that could be changed in terminfo). – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Dec 22 '15 at 14:33
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  • @Gilles I just discovered that this has already been solved by a package: evil-terminal-cursor-changer Unfortunately, said package is broken, but that's beyond the scope of this question. – PythonNut Dec 23 '15 at 18:13
  • I don't think that question is a duplicate. While there may be solutions that work for both, the problems are pretty different. You might find a Mintty-specific solution; the other question might have an evil-specific solution. Were you specifically interested in changing the cursor according to the mode in evil? That's not what you asked here… – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Dec 23 '15 at 19:12
  • If you clarify your question, someone may well find a solution that works for you. For one thing, the control sequences that Emacs sends to the terminal aren't hardcoded; if it's sending the wrong ones, that's fixable. It's only if it sends nothing for the event when you want to change the cursor type that you have a difficult problem, and even for that there might be a workaround. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Dec 23 '15 at 19:13

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