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

I'm on Windows and my vim loads with a terrible colorscheme with vim. The message is blue on black (so I can't see what I'm typing). I need to change the colorscheme, but :colorscheme slate doesn't do anything.

vim - vi improved 7.3 (2010 aug 15, compiled oct 27 2010 17:51:38)
ms-windows 32-bit console version
included patches: 1-46
compiled by bram@kibaale
big version without gui.  features included (+) or not (-):
+arabic +autocmd -balloon_eval -browse ++builtin_terms +byte_offset +cindent +clientserver +clipboard
+cmdline_compl +cmdline_hist +cmdline_info +comments +conceal +cryptv +cscope +cursorbind +cursorshape
+dialog_con +diff +digraphs -dnd -ebcdic +emacs_tags +eval +ex_extra +extra_search +farsi +file_in_path
+find_in_path +float +folding -footer +gettext/dyn -hangul_input +iconv/dyn +insert_expand +jumplist
+keymap +langmap +libcall +linebreak +lispindent +listcmds +localmap -lua +menu +mksession +modify_fname
 +mouse -mouseshape +multi_byte +multi_lang -mzscheme -netbeans_intg -osfiletype +path_extra -perl
+persistent_undo -postscript +printer -profile -python -python3 +quickfix +reltime +rightleft -ruby
+scrollbind +signs +smartindent -sniff +startuptime +statusline -sun_workshop +syntax +tag_binary
+tag_old_static -tag_any_white -tcl -tgetent -termresponse +textobjects +title -toolbar +user_commands
+vertsplit +virtualedit +visual +visualextra +viminfo +vreplace +wildignore +wildmenu +windows
+writebackup -xfontset -xim -xterm_save -xpm_w32
     system vimrc file: "$vim\vimrc"
         user vimrc file: "$home\_vimrc"
 2nd user vimrc file: "$vim\_vimrc"
            user exrc file: "$home\_exrc"
    2nd user exrc file: "$vim\_exrc"
compilation: cl -c /w3 /nologo  -i. -iproto -dhave_pathdef -dwin32   -dfeat_cscope       -dwinver=0x0400 -d_win32_winnt=0x0400  /fo.\objc/ /ox /gl -dndebug  /zl /mt -ddynamic_iconv -ddynamic_gettext -dfeat_big /fd.\objc/ /zi
linking: link /release /nologo /subsystem:console /ltcg:status oldnames.lib kernel32.lib advapi32.lib shell32.lib gdi32.lib  comdlg32.lib ole32.lib uuid.lib /machine:i386 /nodefaultlib  libcmt.lib   user32.lib
                        /pdb:vim.pdb -debug

My $HOME\_vimrc looks like

colorscheme slate
syn on
set shiftwidth=2
set tabstop=2

and my $VIM\vimrc is the stock vimrc that comes with the Windows Vim distribution.

How do I change my console Vim colorscheme? Especially for Git commits.

share|improve this question
Read this thread about 256-colors. As I said before, the work in progress, but solution is possible (in future builds thought). – Maximus Oct 10 '12 at 20:27

In your $HOME\_vimrc:

colorscheme slate

In the command line:

:colorscheme slate

If you have a slate colorscheme installed (which should be, it's installed by default) the above commands should work.

Did you change the color palette of your terminal emulator?

share|improve this answer
yes, it works in gVim. Not sure how to change the color palette of the terminal emulator though – kelloti Oct 10 '12 at 15:14
If none of the default colorschemes is good enough, you can search there for a colorscheme that supports 16 colors or on – romainl Oct 10 '12 at 15:20
In fact, there is ConEmu (I'm the author), which can deal with xterm 256 color (ansi esc-codes). If you are interested in it, you may ask question in 'conemu' tag or on project site. – Maximus Oct 10 '12 at 16:14
@Maximus, I'm actually using ConEmu, it's now tagged – kelloti Oct 10 '12 at 19:14

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.