Strange Terminal Behavior Under FreeBSD

Martin McCormick martin at
Mon Jan 11 14:55:17 UTC 2010

	When in vi in FreeBSD, the cursor does not echo digits
while using the l key to move right. It echos letters and
punctuations just fine. It is kind of strange when you edit
something containing numerals because you hear nothing at all
while hitting l as you move through them.

	I used a P.C. running MSdos, a screen reader, an Echo
speech synthesizer and MSKermit to run a talking VT100 terminal.
I used this for many years and did find a few odd behavior that
could be traced to interactions between the kermit emulator and
the screen reader so I didn't think that much about them until I
moved to vinux which is about as different of a method from the
old system as one can get and this behavior continues.

	If you run screen, screen does redraw all printable
characters as you cursor over them but the straight console
behavior is to redraw only letters and punctuation marks in vi.

	Another part of the behavior which is related is that
one does not hear the bell on hitting Escape in command mode or
when hitting the end of the line with the cursor. It is as if
there is some sort of mask in effect.

	The shell and other programs that produce output ring
the bell and display all printable characters with no issues
that I can see so it is just vi in FreeBSD that is displaying
this behavior.

	Has anybody else observed this? Better yet, did you fix
it? The screen utility is wonderful but with multiple consoles,
one sometimes logs in to a system and edits a file with just the
terminal emulation of the console.

	In Linux, vi echos all characters. I don't know if the
FreeBSD behavior in vi is peculiar to all BSD OS's or not. Mac
OS under Leopard is a BSD-related version of Unix and it behaves
normally with vi.

Martin McCormick

More information about the Blinux-list mailing list