urxvt unknown terminal type with ssh

There are times when you log in via SSH into a server and your terminal is not supported therefore sometimes not fully functional.

Something like this:

$ clear
'rxvt-unicode-256color': unknown terminal type.

This is quite easy to fix and as with many things with GNU/Linux there are various ways you can do it, here are two.

The first solution you can try is to export the $TERM variable in either .bash_profile or .bashrc add one of the following lines.

export TERM='xterm-256color'
export TERM='linux'

The second solution (and maybe a better one) would be to copy your terminal profile known as terminfo file to the server in this case to your $HOME directory.

First create the directory to keep the terminfo file in the server:

mkdir -p ~/.terminfo/r 

Next, copy the matching file found on your local machine to the server, for urxvt-unicode-256color would be:

scp /usr/share/terminfo/r/rxvt-unicode-256color user@server.com:.terminfo/r

And that is all, new sessions will recognize and set the right $TERM.

2 thoughts on “urxvt unknown terminal type with ssh

  1. This can quickly be remedied in arch linux through pacman. Install the rxvt-unicode-terminfo official package to get this to desist on arch based distros.

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