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Cannot set $TERM in -- it always defaults to xterm

From: Leo Alekseyev
Subject: Cannot set $TERM in -- it always defaults to xterm
Date: Mon, 14 Dec 2009 20:05:44 +0000 (UTC)
User-agent: Loom/3.14 (

On Ubuntu 9.10, GNU screen ignores any attempt to set the TERM variable --
either by setting term="xterm-256color" in .screenrc, or using :term command in
screen itself, or using a -T command line switch. Whatever I do, $TERM is stuck
at xterm. Somehow screen is able to display 256 colors under gnome-terminal, but
under xterm it defaults to 8.  I tried reinstalling from the repositories and
compiling from source, and I still see this behavior.  Can someone explain what
is going on and how to fix it?  TIA.

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