Each terminal type can have its own Lisp library that Emacs loads when
run on that type of terminal. The library's name is constructed by
concatenating the value of the variable
term-file-prefix and the
terminal type (specified by the environment variable TERM).
term-file-prefix has the value
changing this is not recommended. If there is an entry matching
TERM in the
term-file-aliases association list,
Emacs uses the associated value in place of TERM.
Emacs finds the file in the normal manner, by searching the
load-path directories, and trying the ‘.elc’ and
The usual role of a terminal-specific library is to enable special
keys to send sequences that Emacs can recognize. It may also need to
set or add to
input-decode-map if the Termcap or Terminfo entry
does not specify all the terminal's function keys. See Terminal Input.
When the name of the terminal type contains a hyphen or underscore,
and no library is found whose name is identical to the terminal's
name, Emacs strips from the terminal's name the last hyphen or
underscore and everything that follows
it, and tries again. This process is repeated until Emacs finds a
matching library, or until there are no more hyphens or underscores in the name
(i.e., there is no terminal-specific library). For example, if the
terminal name is ‘xterm-256color’ and there is no
term/xterm-256color.el library, Emacs tries to load
term/xterm.el. If necessary, the terminal library can evaluate
(getenv "TERM") to find the full name of the terminal type.
Your init file can prevent the loading of the terminal-specific
library by setting the variable
You can also arrange to override some of the actions of the
terminal-specific library by using
tty-setup-hook. This is
a normal hook that Emacs runs after initializing a new text terminal.
You could use this hook to define initializations for terminals that do not
have their own libraries. See Hooks.
(load (concat term-file-prefix (getenv "TERM")))
You may set the
nilin your init file if you do not wish to load the terminal-initialization file.
On MS-DOS, Emacs sets the TERM environment variable to ‘internal’.
This variable is an association list mapping terminal types to their aliases. For example, an element of the form
("vt102" . "vt100")means to treat a terminal of type ‘vt102’ like one of type ‘vt100’.
This variable is a normal hook that Emacs runs after initializing a new text terminal. (This applies when Emacs starts up in non-windowed mode, and when making a tty emacsclient connection.) The hook runs after loading your init file (if applicable) and the terminal-specific Lisp file, so you can use it to adjust the definitions made by that file.
For a related feature, see window-setup-hook.