When I open a new terminal I keep having following warning message:

tput: unknown terminal "term-256color"
tput: unknown terminal "term-256color"
tput: unknown terminal "term-256color"
tput: unknown terminal "term-256color"

How can I fix this? What may be the main cause of it?

1 Answer 1


Unix uses the TERM environment variable to look up various escape sequences in the termcap database to allow programs to do more than just output characters to the terminal (which in these days typically are emulated in CMD.EXE, Putty or similar). Examples are "clear the screen", "move cursor to a specific spot on the screen".

Your terminal emulator is configured to tell Unix that it emulates "term-256color" but Unix does not have that terminal in its termcap database.

Reconfigure your terminal emulator to tell that it is one that it knows. Typical examples are "vt100" and "xterm". Which one exactly may require some experimentation after close reading of the documentation.

  • Additionally when I type export TERM="xterm-256color" to the first line in .zshenv all thoese warnings are gone
    – alper
    Commented Oct 16, 2020 at 23:08
  • @alper Putting that in your .zshenv essentially overrides the mechanism so if you ever attach with another terminal (like ssh from a Windows machine) it may not work as expected. Do it in the terminal emulator, not the host. Commented Oct 16, 2020 at 23:40
  • how can I set terminal emulator into xterm?
    – alper
    Commented Oct 17, 2020 at 2:19

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