How can I change the standard 8 colors (16 if you count the bright versions) that are used in the various TTYs in Ubuntu 12.04? I'm not talking about the Terminal or XTerm applications, I'm talking about the TTYs that you access via Ctrl+Alt+F1 through Ctrl+Alt+F6.

I don't want to change what colors are being used in which places, I want to tweak what the colors look like. For example, I don't want to change what red is used for, I just want to change what the red looks like--such as using #FF6C60 as red instead of #FF0000.

  • Foreground & Background colors? – Mitch Jun 7 '12 at 5:07
  • No, that's not what I want to change. I'm fine with the which colors are what, I just want to tweak how they look. For example, I'm fine with the color blue being used where the color blue is used--I just want to tweak the shade of blue the TTY uses. – Kerrick Jun 7 '12 at 5:13
up vote 37 down vote accepted

Finally found it! As it turns out, I was searching for the wrong term. Apparently the TTYs run on a framebuffer, which is what the colors get changed in.

From this blog post but customized to use the railscasts theme colors, add the following to ~/.bashrc:

if [ "$TERM" = "linux" ]; then
    echo -en "\e]P0232323" #black
    echo -en "\e]P82B2B2B" #darkgrey
    echo -en "\e]P1D75F5F" #darkred
    echo -en "\e]P9E33636" #red
    echo -en "\e]P287AF5F" #darkgreen
    echo -en "\e]PA98E34D" #green
    echo -en "\e]P3D7AF87" #brown
    echo -en "\e]PBFFD75F" #yellow
    echo -en "\e]P48787AF" #darkblue
    echo -en "\e]PC7373C9" #blue
    echo -en "\e]P5BD53A5" #darkmagenta
    echo -en "\e]PDD633B2" #magenta
    echo -en "\e]P65FAFAF" #darkcyan
    echo -en "\e]PE44C9C9" #cyan
    echo -en "\e]P7E5E5E5" #lightgrey
    echo -en "\e]PFFFFFFF" #white
    clear #for background artifacting
fi
  • How did they arrive at these colors? Do they say? Can you link to it? – Aaron Hall Nov 6 at 21:35

Ubuntu has a kbd package and in that, among many useful things, there's /sbin/setvtrgb.

It's truly awesome!

Sadly,in its manual no mention about /etc/vtrgb nor /etc/init/setvtrgb.conf file, other than that it's pretty straight forward.

Here's mine:

0,170,0,170,51,119,0,170,85,255,85,252,102,187,85,255
0,0,170,85,85,34,170,170,85,85,255,233,136,68,255,255
0,0,0,0,153,136,170,170,85,85,85,79,187,170,255,255

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