When I ssh from my system to termux, my term is

~ $ echo $TERM

..and I can't start Emacs.

Seems Termux doesn't like that. If I change it to

$ export TERM=xterm-256color

, then all is good.

Do I need to install terminfo for GNU Screen to be able to run Emacs?

  • I think this is probably a question better asked on super user, because I think it's a question about Linux and terminfo and valid TERM values, but I'm not completely sure.
    – Trevoke
    Commented Aug 5, 2023 at 12:04

1 Answer 1


This is obviously a question about termux and terminfo rather than Emacs, so I will be brief.

The terminfo database is normally stored in /usr/share/terminfo. For example, the entry for screen.xterm-256color would be in the file called /usr/share/terminfo/s/screen.xterm-256color.

You can use the infocmp program to show what is in these files. Check the man page for details, but if you give it a terminal name it will print out everything it knows about it. It sounds like in your current setup infocmp xterm-256color will succeed while infocmp screen.xterm-256color will give you an error. See the man page for more details, obviously.

The command tic compiles a terminfo file from it’s source code, if you happen to find it and don’t have a better way to install it. Again, read the man page if you have any questions.

I don’t know anything specific about Termux, so I cannot tell you how to install things with it; you will have to consult it’s own documentation. Know however that screen.xterm-256color is a very normal terminal name to use; it should be in your terminfo database if it is installed correctly. Usually you install the entire database from a single OS package and you don’t have to mess about with individual entries unless you have installed a brand new terminal emulator.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.