ncurses: Classic terminal output library#
Ncurses (new curses, pronounced “enn-curses”) started as a freely distributable “clone” of System V Release 4.0 (SVr4) curses. It has outgrown the “clone” description, and now contains many features which are not in SVr4 curses. Curses is a pun on the term “cursor optimization”. It is a library of functions that manage an application’s display on character-cell terminals (e.g., VT100).
The name “ncurses” was first used as the name of the curses library in Pavel Curtis’s pcurses, dated 1982. It was apparently developed on a BSD 4.4 system, at Cornell. Parts of pcurses are readily identifiable in ncurses, including the basics for the terminfo compiler (named compile in that package):
the Caps, used to define the terminfo capabilities
awk scripts MKcaptab.awk, MKnames.awk
the library modules used for the terminfo compiler.
Besides ncurses, parts of pcurses still survive in 2010, in recognizable form in Solaris.
Special Update/Build Instructions#
Equivalent System Packages#
$ conda install ncurses
$ apt-cyg install libncurses-devel
$ sudo apt-get install libncurses5-dev
$ sudo yum install ncurses-devel
$ sudo pkg install devel/ncurses
$ brew install ncurses
macports: install the following packages: ncurses
$ sudo zypper install "pkgconfig(ncurses)" "pkgconfig(ncursesw)"
$ sudo slackpkg install ncurses
$ sudo xbps-install ncurses-devel
If the system package is installed, ./configure will check whether it can be used.