I am using Mavericks+iTerm+zsh+oh-my-zsh. I have no problem to use solarized in iTerm and vim. But I am having a hard time to use solarized in Mutt.

According to the official site, it supposed to be like this.

enter image description here

I have xterm-256color in iTerm>Profiles > Terminal Emulation > Report Terminal Type.

And the following is my .muttrc.

# A basic .muttrc for use with Gmail

# Change the following six lines to match your Gmail account details
set imap_user = "my email"
set imap_pass = "my pw"
set smtp_url = "smtp://myemail@smtp.gmail.com:587/"
set smtp_pass = "mypw"
set from = "myemail here"
set realname = "My name"

# Change the following line to a different editor you prefer.
set editor = "nano"

# Basic config, you can leave this as is
set folder = "imaps://imap.gmail.com:993"
set spoolfile = "+INBOX"
set imap_check_subscribed
set hostname = gmail.com
set mail_check = 120
set timeout = 300
set imap_keepalive = 300
set postponed = "+[GMail]/Drafts"
set record = "+[GMail]/Sent Mail"
set header_cache=~/.mutt/cache/headers
set message_cachedir=~/.mutt/cache/bodies
set certificate_file=~/.mutt/certificates
set move = no
set include
set sort = 'threads'
set sort_aux = 'reverse-last-date-received'
set auto_tag = yes
ignore "Authentication-Results:"
ignore "DomainKey-Signature:"
ignore "DKIM-Signature:"
hdr_order Date From To Cc
alternative_order text/plain text/html *
auto_view text/html
bind editor <Tab> complete-query
bind editor ^T complete
bind editor <space> noop 

# Gmail-style keyboard shortcuts
macro index,pager y "<enter-command>unset trash\n <delete-message>" "Gmail archive message"
macro index,pager d "<enter-command>set trash=\"imaps://imap.googlemail.com/[GMail]/Bin\"\n <delete-message>" "Gmail delete message"
macro index,pager gi "<change-folder>=INBOX<enter>" "Go to inbox"
macro index,pager ga "<change-folder>=[Gmail]/All Mail<enter>" "Go to all mail"
macro index,pager gs "<change-folder>=[Gmail]/Starred<enter>" "Go to starred messages"
macro index,pager gd "<change-folder>=[Gmail]/Drafts<enter>" "Go to drafts"

# personal
set send_charset="utf-8"

# URL view
# macro pager \cb <pipe-entry>'w3m'<enter> 'Follow links in w3m'
macro index,pager \cB ": unset wait_key; set pipe_decode\n|w3m\n: set wait_key; unset pipe_decode\n" "call w3m to extract URLs out of a message"

# goobook for gmail contact
# mail address completion
set query_command="goobook query "'%s'"
bind editor <Tab> complete-query
macro index,pager a "<pipe-message>goobook add<return>" "add the sender address to Google contacts"

# color scheme
source ~/.mutt/mutt-colors-solarized/mutt-colors-solarized-dark-256.muttrc 

# vim-ish keybindings for going to the bottom of things
bind pager "G" bottom

## split window
set pager_index_lines=10

And this what I see in my Mutt.

enter image description here

I'd like to know what else I need to do.

Thanks in advance.


I was reading this and found this lines.

# make sure that you are using mutt linked against slang, not ncurses, or
# suffer the consequences of weird color issues. use "mutt -v" to check this.

When I do mutt -v. I get the followings.

ncurses: ncurses 5.7.20081102 (compiled with 5.7)

So I guess my question is how I can change ncurses to slang.

UPDATE I installed Mutt with brew install mutt.

  • Your Email address appears to be displayed in the second image. – K.A Jan 2 '14 at 1:14
  • I also have the brown mutt syndrome. Same config as you in iTerm2. My mutt is built against s-lang with homebrew. Any news on this? – Dominique May 12 '15 at 20:42
  • Use dark-16, it's much much better. – Dmitry Kudriavtsev Dec 23 '17 at 22:55
  • 1
    I'm having this exact same problem. Did this ever get solved? – Brian Fitzpatrick Apr 19 at 21:22

I had the same problem in iTerm2, though the solarized colorscheme for iTerm2 itself and for Vim work perfectly, and even though my Mutt is compiled against s-lang. Tipped off by this blog post I modified mutt-colors-solarized-dark-256.muttrc and replaced color234 by default everywhere. The result now seems correct. My modified color file is available here: https://gist.github.com/dpo/b729c4dbe963b33279ab


You should install mutt like this:

brew install slang urlview lynx
brew install mutt -–with-s-lang
  • 1
    thanks. this answer may not have really answered the question, but it helped me. – Tim Kennedy Nov 10 '14 at 21:04


mkdir ~/.mutt/colors/

Then: copy your downloaded solarized muttrc file, such as:

cp ~/.downloads/mutt-colors-solarized-dark-256.muttrc ~/.mutt/colors/

Lastly: edit/add source in ~/.muttrc, as in:

source ~/.mutt/colors/mutt-colors-solarized-dark-256.muttrc
  • Your last step is not entirely clear.  Should the user type that source command (into his shell), or should he edit ~/.muttrc and add the source command to that file? – Scott Jan 13 '17 at 23:47
  • P.S. Please do not respond in comments; edit your answer to make it clearer. – Scott Jan 14 '17 at 2:27

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