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Debian GNU/Linux Reference Guide
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8.6.9 Set console to the correct type

Console screens in Unix-like systems are usually accessed using (n)curses library routines. These give the user a terminal-independent method of updating character screens with reasonable optimization. See ncurses(3X) and terminfo(5).

On a Debian system, there are quite a lot of predefined entries:

     $ toe | less                  # all entries
     $ toe /etc/terminfo/ | less   # user reconfigurable entries

Export your selection as environment variable TERM.

If the terminfo entry for xterm doesn't work with a non-Debian xterm, change your terminal type from "xterm" to one of the feature-limited versions such as "xterm-r6" when you log in to a Debian system remotely. See /usr/share/doc/libncurses5/FAQ for more. "dumb" is the lowest common denominator for terminfo.

Debian GNU/Linux Reference Guide
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