Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

echo $TERM gives me xterm-color. Is that right? I'm having issues with vim and was told to change it to dtterm. Why?

I've learned that I can change this value in Preferences... under the Advanced tab: Declare terminal as:

share|improve this question
Only the person who told you that can answer why. When it comes to setting $TERM there's a lot of paranoia and misinformation around. Ideally, $TERM should always be set to a value that is correct for whatever terminal emulator you're using. Only occasionally is there a reason to select a variation, to disable or modify specific features, e.g., xterm vs. xterm1. Rarely, it's sometimes necessary to customize the value to work around a problem, usually with a program that either has a bug or isn't configurable enough. – Chris Page Aug 29 '11 at 12:23

Yes, xterm-color is the default for; it's the most compatible with, well, everything. You can see when you open the preferences window for the terminal:

Terminal Dialog

You can change it to dtterm in the menu:

Terminal Dialog

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.