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Is it possible to configure PuTTY to have me some nice colour scheme like vim's desert?

I'm an PuTTY user under Windows and my login shell is tcsh. The current PuTTY theme setting is a very boring "black background and white character" user interface.

If it is possible, could you illustrate a little bit about how it works?

I've goolged this issue, but it seem both client side and server side settings are involved in changing PuTTY's appearance, which makes me quite confused.

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To change the color settings within a running PuTTY session:

  1. Left click on the top left PuTTY icon (on my system, this looks like two computers with a connection between them.
  2. Choose "Change Settings". This should bring up a menu with Categories of "Session", "Terminal", "Window", and "Connection". All these should be expanded to show the sub-categories.
  3. Under the "Window" category, choose "Colours".

You should then see several check box options, and a select box with several items you can set to the values you want. You can click on the "System Colours" option to get the colors pushed down from the server. Otherwise you can select the individual items you want to change and give each one the colors you want.

Edit: As warren pointed out in a comment, if you want the settings you just set up to persist to later connections, go back to the "Sessions" category. You can then select either the "Default settings" or one of the specific sessions you have saved, and click on "Save" to retain those settings.

FWIW: I often save different settings for different sessions so that it's easy to tell them apart when I simultaneously have connections to several different computers open.

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that only changes on a per-connection basis - you can make the same changes for the Default Connection (I think it's called) by making your settings changes, then going back to the connecitons list and selecting the Default and clicking Save – warren Feb 26 '10 at 14:14
@warren: Oops! I forgot to mention to save the settings! Thanks for reminding me. – GreenMatt Feb 26 '10 at 14:38
happy to assist :) – warren Feb 27 '10 at 14:38
+1 for different settings for different sessions! – Randell Nov 23 '10 at 1:00

Your question is a bit unclear. Which colors do you want to change?

The color scheme you get when you log into a server can be configured inside putty (under "colors", I believe).

If you want color inside vim, you must tell vim to use color. Commonly you'd do ":set syntax on" to make vim use syntax highlighting. This should need not customization in putty.

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There's no theming in PuTTY, but you can change the defaujlt foreground/background colours.

The Default Foreground and Background colours, and the Cursor colours, only involve PuTTY: PuTTY displays the cursor, and PuTTY displays the text.

But then there are all those ANSI settings: when the hosts sends an ANSI char sequence to set the foreground colour:


An ANSI-compatible terminal (e.g. PuTTY) should know to display the following test in yellow. (And ESC[39m would restore the normal colour).

So when vim displays various colour schemes, it's just sending ANSI escape sequences to the terminal:

ESC[3 X m for foreground colours, and ESC[4 X m for background colours.

Foreground colors

30  Black
31  Red
32  Green
33  Yellow
34  Blue
35  Magenta
36  Cyan
37  White 

Background colors

40  Black
41  Red
..  ...
47  White 
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  • Go to appearance tab in putty settings
  • check "Use system colours"
  • You will get a white windows with black font.
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This is your idea of a nice color scheme? Like Henry Ford's, "You can have any color you want as long as it's black."? – fixer1234 May 18 at 17:46

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