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David S. Lawyer

v1.42 January 2010
This document was originally written for real text terminals which are seldom used anymore. It explains how they work, how to install and configure them, and provides some info on how to repair them. Most of this information is mainly of historical interest. But much in this HOWTO applies to the emulation of text terminals by PC's which is used more often than real terminals. Except that the standard text modes of Linux are still used a lot: either the direct text mode (virtual console) or using text windows in the X-window interface (such as rterm). But while these standard interfaces (with no serial cables to connect) are still emulations of a text terminal the details of these standard emulations is not well covered in this HOWTO since it was well covered by Keyboard-and-Console-HOWTO which was written for Linux 2.0 and likely needs updating. This HOWTO also provides an brief overview of modern GUI terminals.

1. Introduction

2. Types of Terminals

3. Thin Clients Terminals

4. Quick Text-Terminal Install

5. Why Use a Terminal ?

6. Overview of How Text Terminals Work (in Linux)

7. Terminal Special Files such as /dev/tty

8. Some Details on How Terminals Work

9. Special Features/Types of Some Terminals

10. Terminal Emulation (including the Console)

11. Flow Control (Handshaking)

12. Physical Connection

13. Set-Up (Configure) in General

14. Terminal Set-Up (Configure) Details

15. Computer Set-Up (Configure) Details

16. Terminfo and Termcap (detailed)

17. Using the Terminal

18. Special Uses for a Terminal

19. Trouble-Shooting

20. Repair & Diagnose

21. Appendix A: General

22. Appendix B: Escape Sequence Commands Terminology

23. Appendix C: Serial Communications on EIA-232 (RS-232)

24. Appendix D: Notes by Brand/Model

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