I haven't been able to apply any color scheme to iTerm2.

It looks like that the Basic Colors are applied, but the ANSI Colors are not (as shown in Preferences>Profiles>Colors).

Using Mac OSX 10.7.2. Any help?

  • So there is a bug in iterm2.... Use default item provided.... – ZaB Mar 11 '12 at 22:10
  • Really any color you select? What is the Terminal Type selected in Preferences » Profiles » Default » Terminal under Terminal Emulation? – slhck Mar 11 '12 at 22:21
  • @slhck Report Terminal Type: xterm-256color – Panagiotis Panagi Mar 12 '12 at 12:51
  • Try changing it to xterm and see if that works. – slhck Mar 12 '12 at 13:05
  • @slhck Changed to xterm and xterm-new and restarted. Nothing works. – Panagiotis Panagi Mar 12 '12 at 13:14
up vote 78 down vote accepted

I've been having the same issue and this is what seems to have solved it:

In your .bash_profile set CLICOLOR before setting TERM:

# Set CLICOLOR if you want Ansi Colors in iTerm2 
export CLICOLOR=1

# Set colors to match iTerm2 Terminal Colors
export TERM=xterm-256color

save bash file and source:

source ~/.bash_profile 

Then, in your iTerm2 Preferences > Profiles > Terminal > Report Terminal Type, set to either xterm-256color or xterm

Close iTerm2, restart it and type ls. That did the trick for me.

Good luck.

  • it works very well for me – ajreal Apr 22 '13 at 19:27
  • 1
    exporting the CLICOLOR finally made colors appear in iTerm2. The preference had xterm-256color set, I wonder why this was tripping it up. – mguymon Feb 12 '14 at 21:18
  • if this doesn't work, that a look at the 2nd answer bellow about the contrast... – João Pinho Jan 6 '16 at 1:40

this is a really old question, but make sure your Preferences -> Profiles -> Colors -> Minimum contrast setting is not at the max... if it is and you've done what is suggested above, slide it to a lower setting and you should see the colors appear.

  • 1
    Works great, but it's Preferences > Profiles > Colors > Minimum Contrast – Niclas Aug 1 '17 at 18:32

I had the same problem and found a solution: Profiles -> Colors -> Minimum Contrast. If it's high, then you only get black and white.

  • i set this without knowing that it set all the colors to black & white, and this comment help me fix that. THanks! – Roy Rico Jun 3 '15 at 18:58
  • superb! it worked, what a ...flower! ... my iterm got setup like that by default. – João Pinho Jan 6 '16 at 1:39
  • Perfect! I slide everything back to 0 and everything is colored again. Thanks! – Matheus Felipe Sep 14 '16 at 17:55

If you are using zsh and @sam3k answer didn't work for you - you should put those lines in .zshrc instead of .bash_profile

Several answers have mentioned the contrast setting. Even at about 60% of the way across my ANSI blue turned black.

Crank the contrast down before you look for other solutions; it is way more aggressive than I expected.

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