CentOS 6.0 comes with the ability to set its TERM to screen-256color. It doesn't work in CentOS 5.7, though.

How can you get CentOS 5.7 to support screen-256color?

2 Answers 2


If you have a CentOS 6 box handy, you should be able to get the source of the terminfo file for screen-256color and then compile it on the CentOS 5 box.

Take a look at:


I haven't tried it, but something like this:

On the CentOS 6: infocmp screen-256color > /tmp/screen-256color.terminfo, then get the output file to the CentOS 5 box. On the CentOS 5 box, tic screen-256color.terminfo. From the man page, as root, that should place the compiled terminfo file into /usr/share/terminfo.

Of course, read documentation and man pages, etc.

  • 1
    Just an FYI: On one of my boxes, the permissions got messed up for /usr/share/terminfo/s/screen-256color; it was only readable by root. A simple chmod a+r /usr/share/terminfo/s/screen-256color fixed the problem.
    – docwhat
    Mar 15, 2012 at 18:12
  • Oh, also: This works on any terminfo based unix system. Though the directory it writes to may be different.
    – docwhat
    Mar 15, 2012 at 18:13
  • 1
    You can do it all in one command if you have SSH access between the two. On the CentOS 5 machine, run tic <(ssh CENTOS6MACHINE infocmp screen-256color), where CENTOS6MACHINE is the hostname of your CentOS 6 machine. This will place it in the system-wide database if run as root, but if run as a normal user will put it in the right place in your home directory.
    – Zanchey
    Apr 2, 2014 at 1:34

Is xterm-256color available? I've not used CentOS much, but the xterm one has been around for a while.

  • It is available, but it doesn't do what I need it to do. htop crashes while using xterm-256color inside of tmux.
    – Neil
    Feb 28, 2012 at 23:26

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