Terminal not fully functional when using rxvt-unicode-256color

After reading some interesting articles about rxvt-unicode (often called urxvt) I wanted to try it out myself on my Archbox. Installation is quite simple via pacman and further customization can be done be modifying the .Xdefaults fine in your home directory.

If you install the rxvt-unicode-256color package the TERM variable will be set to rxvt-256color and that’s a problem when connecting to the debian boxes, because the ncurses package does not have a valid entry for this under /lib/terminfo.
When using less, man and I assume some other tools too, you’ll get the following error message:


WARNING: terminal is not fully functional
- (press RETURN)

To avoid this, you can add the following line to your .bashrc file in your home folder to set the TERM variable to rxvt-unicode which is included in the debian ncurses package:


case "$TERM" in
rxvt-256color)
TERM=rxvt-unicode
;;
esac