6.3. Ncurses-6.3

The Ncurses package contains libraries for terminal-independent handling of character screens.

Approximate build time: 0.7 SBU
Required disk space: 50 MB

6.3.1. Installation of Ncurses

First, ensure that gawk is found first during configuration:

sed -i s/mawk// configure

Then, run the following commands to build the tic program on the build host:

mkdir build
pushd build
  make -C include
  make -C progs tic

Prepare Ncurses for compilation:

./configure --prefix=/usr                \
            --host=$LFS_TGT              \
            --build=$(./config.guess)    \
            --mandir=/usr/share/man      \
            --with-manpage-format=normal \
            --with-shared                \
            --without-debug              \
            --without-ada                \
            --without-normal             \
            --disable-stripping          \

The meaning of the new configure options:


This prevents Ncurses installing compressed manual pages, which may happen if the host distribution itself has compressed manual pages.


This ensures that Ncurses does not build support for the Ada compiler which may be present on the host but will not be available once we enter the chroot environment.


This switch prevents the building system from stripping the programs using strip program from the host. Using host tools on cross-compiled program can cause failure.


This switch causes wide-character libraries (e.g., libncursesw.so.6.3) to be built instead of normal ones (e.g., libncurses.so.6.3). These wide-character libraries are usable in both multibyte and traditional 8-bit locales, while normal libraries work properly only in 8-bit locales. Wide-character and normal libraries are source-compatible, but not binary-compatible.


This switch disables building and installing most static libraries.

Compile the package:


Install the package:

make DESTDIR=$LFS TIC_PATH=$(pwd)/build/progs/tic install
echo "INPUT(-lncursesw)" > $LFS/usr/lib/libncurses.so

The meaning of the install options:


We need to pass the path of the just built tic able to run on the building machine, so that the terminal database can be created without errors.

echo "INPUT(-lncursesw)" > $LFS/usr/lib/libncurses.so

The libncurses.so library is needed by a few packages we will build soon. We create this small linker script, as this is what is done in Chapter 8.

Details on this package are located in Section 8.28.2, “Contents of Ncurses.”