I tried to apply solarized color theme to my GNOME terminal, like explained Here. But its all greyed out and not that colorful as expected.

See here
enter img des

Any Idea what I can do?

  • Does this text get highlighted when you switch to a different colour theme?
    – pconley
    May 21, 2012 at 5:05
  • Also, is your prompt colored? As in the part where it says: username@hostname I dont see it in the screenshot. EDIT: also, the screenshots at the link provided have colored 'ls' output, which is something that you can set in your .bashrc, not something that solarized controls.
    – nisshh
    Jul 31, 2012 at 10:25

3 Answers 3


Not sure of the reason exactly, but in any of the scripts that install Solarized for gnome that I've seen it is mostly just shades of grey for the most used colours.

This site has some commands for updating the Gnome colour profile: XORCode website.

The commands are:

gconftool-2 --set "/apps/gnome-terminal/profiles/Default/use_theme_background" --type bool false
gconftool-2 --set "/apps/gnome-terminal/profiles/Default/use_theme_colors" --type bool false
gconftool-2 --set "/apps/gnome-terminal/profiles/Default/palette" --type string "#070736364242:#D3D301010202:#858599990000:#B5B589890000:#26268B8BD2D2:#D3D336368282:#2A2AA1A19898:#EEEEE8E8D5D5:#00002B2B3636:#CBCB4B4B1616:#58586E6E7575:#65657B7B8383:#838394949696:#6C6C7171C4C4:#9393A1A1A1A1:#FDFDF6F6E3E3"
gconftool-2 --set "/apps/gnome-terminal/profiles/Default/background_color" --type string "#00002B2B3636"
gconftool-2 --set "/apps/gnome-terminal/profiles/Default/foreground_color" --type string "#65657B7B8383"

I found that replacing the third line with one of my own making made the terminal look just right:

gconftool-2 --set "/apps/gnome-terminal/profiles/Default/palette" --type string "#070736364242:#D3D301010202:#858599990000:#B5B589890000:#26268B8BD2D2:#D3D336368282:#2A2AA1A19898:#EEEEE8E8D5D5:#00002B2B3636:#CBCB4B4B1616:#858599990000:#B5B589890000:#26268B8BD2D2:#6C6C7171C4C4:#2A2AA1A19898:#FDFDF6F6E3E3"

The shell script at the following site can show what is different in the original scheme and the one I found to work: ColourTable script on GitHub.

  • I tried your palette, but some of the colours are duplicates. Also the foreground color is not correct. So I put my own code in a gist. (I tried to post the whole thing in a comment but the site inserted some zero-width Unicode characters.)
    – wjandrea
    Feb 20, 2017 at 20:00

You need to download the .dircolors file as well, first step in this post: http://www.webupd8.org/2011/04/solarized-must-have-color-paletter-for.html


I believe you have to get 256colors working first before it will display correctly.

  1. sudo vim ~/.Xdefaults .xsession .vimrc

  2. touch .vimrc and add this:

    set term=screen-256color
    set t_Co=256
    set background=dark

    (That's what I did, please keep in mind that I am new to all this and just going from what I remember doing. It took me several days of researching).

    if $COLORTERM == "gnome-terminal" then set t_Co=256 endif

    Inside of .Xdefaults: customization: -color

    Then go to next line and: XTerm*termName: xterm-256color

    That should do it. echo $TERM should say xterm-256color and tput colors should return 256.


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