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Posts: 305 | Thanked: 574 times | Joined on Mar 2012
I noticed recently on my N900 and N9 that attempting to run nano over ssh resulted in the following error:
Error opening terminal: xterm-256color.
and mc started in black & white.

I found that in Ubuntu 15.10 the TERM environment variable now defaults to xterm-256color instead of xterm-color.
Apparently this changed in a recent upgrade to Apple OS X as well.
This environment variable is passed through when ssh-ing into another machine.

Both Maemo and Harmattan have an old version of ncurses-base (5.7+20081213) which includes the file /etc/terminfo/x/xterm-color but not /etc/terminfo/x/xterm-256color.

One solution is to set the TERM environment variable after ssh-ing into the device:
export TERM=xterm-color
Another solution is to copy the file /lib/terminfo/x/xterm-256color from a recent Debian or Ubuntu installation (or the attached xterm-256color.tar.gz from the Maemo package) to /etc/terminfo/x/ on the device.
Attached Files
File Type: gz xterm-256color.tar.gz (1.0 KB, 61 views)

Last edited by ginggs; 2015-12-29 at 05:32.

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ginggs's Avatar
Posts: 305 | Thanked: 574 times | Joined on Mar 2012
The ncurses source package is here:

You can see the following binary packages are built from it:

Strangely, if you build it locally you also end up with binary packages ncurses-bin and ncurses-term, but these packages don't seem to be available in the repository.
Ncurses-term contains xterm-256color and the full contents of the terminfo database (2000+ files). According to README.Debian, it "includes many strange and obsolete terminals.".

The changelog for ncurses 5.6+20080713-1 in Debian contains the following:
* Moving xterm-256color from ncurses-term to ncurses-base, thanks to Iustin
Pop <> (Closes: #405602).
Unfortunately, Nokia appeared to have forked ncurses from Debian at version 5.4-3.osso1 in August 2006, and missed this fix.

Looking at the ncurses-base binary package:
it is available in the Maemo 5 device root filesystem and the Maemo 5 device SSU repository. Maybe moving xterm-256color from ncurses-term to ncurses-base could be something for CSSU?

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