This article is from the Frequently Asked Questions for Linux, the Free/Open Source UNIX-like operating system kernel that runs on many modern computer systems. Maintained by David C. Merrill with numerous contributions by others. (v1.0).
A: In early kernels the default console terminal type has changed from console to linux. You must edit /etc/termcap to change the line reading:
(there may be an additional dumb in there - if so it should be removed.)
To get the editor to work you may need type:
(for bash and ksh), or
$ setenv TERM console
for csh or tcsh.
Some programs use /usr/lib/terminfo instead of /etc/termcap. For these programs you should upgrade your terminfo package, which is part of ncurses.
The same is true for X terminal displays. If your distribution sets the TERM to something strange like xterm-24-color, you can simply reset it to a generic value from the command line:
$ TERM="xterm"; export TERM