cygwin: WARNING: terminal is not fully functional

I recently encoun­tered an error where when I do a less in cygwin it goes WARNING: terminal is not fully functional Quite some people seem to have encoun­tered this prob­lem before and there are some dis­cus­sion threads on the Web, but I couldn’t find a page that pointed out the direct solu­tion after some googling. Here’s what I did to fix the prob­lem: It turns out that the envi­ron­ment vari­able TERM is some­how set to dumb instead of the normal cygwin. Appar­ently the dumb ter­mi­nal is not as fully func­tional as cygwin. Here’s what I did to con­firm the prob­lem: $ echo $TERM dumb I got less work­ing prop­erly again by doing: $ export TERM=cygwin $ less It turned out that some­how the $TERM envi­ron­ment vari­able got set to dumb. To fix that, simply run sysdm.cpl from a Win­dows com­mand prompt, and delete the envi­ron­ment vari­able TERM. cygwin will then default TERM to cygwin

43 Responses to “cygwin: WARNING: terminal is not fully functional”


  • good post, it’s helpful

  • Great! It works fine.

  • Another solu­tion could be to delete your TERM system vari­able. For some reason mine was set to “dumb,” caus­ing the same error. (I’m run­ning Win­dows 7) Hope this helps.

  • Cool, this annoy­ing issue is now gone. 🙂 Thanks for post­ing the solution!

  • This solu­tion is worked! Thanks a lot!

  • You just made my day. Thanks

  • I’ve been look­ing for this solu­tion whole day… Thank you very much!

  • Thank you! That was too easy. Wonder why cygwin’s installer hasn’t changed that.

  • You saved my day. Thank you very much

  • @Curmudge0n:

    I think cygwin’s installer does it, it changes $TERM to `dumb` some­where just to per­form some oper­a­tions. Some­times the installer fails and for­gets to set it back to normal again.

  • It works. Thanks

  • Man! You saved my day! It’s been about 3 months with a broken ter­mi­nal here, curs­ing Win­dows every single day… now it’s fixed! Like a Holy Grail! Now I’m ready to continue! =)

  • Heh, look­ing at the amount of com­ment this obscure blog received, it’s funny how cygwin would let some­thing like this happen :p

  • Try using TERM=rxvt. It works well too. (TERM=cygwin works well but vi syn­taxes are tossed. rxvt seems to follow them better.)

  • I was won­der­ing why cygwin was acting strange, this fixed it. Thanks! I wonder if installing both cygwin and mingw was a bad idea.

  • Thanks man — saved me a lot of headaches today!

  • thanks man!

  • Thanks so much!!!!

  • If anyone is using Git Bash and finds this you can change the above to

     $ export TERM=msys 
    and you will be good to go.

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