Dat Pretty Vim: 256 colours in Bash

Colourful Vim Screen

After many years of being used to bland, black-and-white SSH sessions and plain vanilla Vi for my troubleshooting works – I’ve finally decided to take some time to learn how to juice the shells up a bit with glorious 256 colours and Vim’s syntax-on and color option. It was surprising how Vim suddenly became a pleasure to work with.

The following applies to CentOS/RHEL 6 on Bash shell; but it should probably work with many other similar flavours of Linux.

Create a script as below with a name of your choice (I named it xterm256.sh) under /etc/profile.d directory.

if [ "$TERM" == "xterm" ]; then
    export TERM=xterm-256color

Save the script, and log out and back in again to shell. Running

echo $TERM

will now show


Since it runs under /etc/profile.d directory, any user SSH’ing into the server will now run in 256 colour mode.

Now, go search for some Vim color themes and you are all set.

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