I have a building environment/setup that contains ncurses, and I am looking to build Emacs master branch without that library. I did not see any obvious option in the .configure --help dialog, or by Googling.

Q:  How, please, can I tell Emacs during the configure process to forget about ncurses -- i.e., pretend that it doesn't exist?

Background:  When the building environment contains ncurses, an Emacs version built from that environment will always look for it when it launches. If ncurses is not there, Emacs fails to launch. I would like to build Emacs that does not look for ncurses each time it launches. gdb confirms that Emacs is looking for ncurses. The only workaround I have found is to remove ncurses entirely from my building environment, which is not an ideal solution.

I've tried excluding everything I can think of, but Emacs is still looking for ncurses when it launches:

./configure \
--with-ns \
--without-dbus \
--without-gconf \
--without-gif \
--without-gnutls \
--without-gpm \
--without-imagemagick \
--without-jpeg \
--without-libotf \
--without-makeinfo \
--without-m17n-flt \
--without-png \
--without-rsvg \
--without-gsettings \
--without-sound \
--without-tiff \
--without-x \
--without-xaw3d \
--without-xft \
--without-xml2 \
--without-xpm \
--without-zlib \
--with-file-notification=no \
--disable-acl \
--enable-checking='glyphs' \

1 Answer 1


I'm sure someone better acquainted will have a definitive answer, but a quick isearch through the configure script suggests the LIBS_TERMCAP environment variable controls this, and alternative values are LIBS_TERMCAP="-ltinfo" or LIBS_TERMCAP="-ltermcap" and that you may or may not also need TERMINFO=no.

  • Thank you -- I'll be able to try those out later this evening and will report back -- greatly appreciated.
    – lawlist
    Commented May 20, 2016 at 20:09

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