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Re: Cursor problems with some applications in linux console

From: David Woodfall
Subject: Re: Cursor problems with some applications in linux console
Date: Sun, 14 Oct 2018 17:32:41 +0100
User-agent: Agent Provocateur

On Sunday 14 October 2018 17:28,
Jostein Berntsen <address@hidden> put forth the proposition:
> On 13.10.18,11:35, David Woodfall wrote:
> > I'm using the 1/3 block cursor in a plain linux console, set by a
> > control code (\e[?3c).
> >
> > I find that a few applications (vim, mutt, moc, finch, calcurse)
> > reset my cursor back to the thin underline, which is very hard to
> > see. And the cursor will affect all other screen windows too.
> >
> > With vim I can set a custom cursor when I start it and exit, so
> > that's not so much of a problem. With mutt I can stop it resetting
> > the cursor by giving it a fake TERM of xterm-color when I start it.
> > However, I haven't managed to find a similar workaround for calcurse,
> > moc and finch.
> >
> > I've tried different init and reset strings in termcapinfo, but I
> > can't seem to find the magic setting that stops the cursor resetting.
> >
> > A diff between xterm-color and linux.screen terminfos has pointed at
> > the differences, but using those hasn't helped, unless I'm setting it
> > wrong.
> >
> > Is there a brute-force method of stopping cursor resets like this?
> >
> > I realise that applications usually look better when the cursor is
> > hidden for drawing menus and such. Other applications like less, lynx
> > and elinks don't seem to have this problem (although elinks uses an
> > option to put the cursor at bottom right of the screen, out of view.)
> >
> > Any ideas about this would be most helpful indeed.
> >
> Can you do something like the answer in this post?

Unfortunately those codes don't work in a plain linux console. I was
using those before in urxvt. In a vanilla console the codes \e[?0c to
\e[?6c give various sizes of blinking/nonblinking blocks. Using a
number of 15+ allows it to be coloured too, but only for a full

I have found a fix for vim at least - I set TERM to ansi and made a
convoluted function that prints the control codes for the altscreen
before and after running vim, combined with some t_ti and t_te
settings in vim itself. That allows me to use a block cursor, and
1/3, 2/3 blocks too I imagine.

But this has no effect on some applications like e.g. calcurse, finch
and moc. I'm still looking for a solution with those. 

This has

> Jostein


Linux: the choice of a GNU generation
  -- address@hidden put this on Tshirts in '93

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