irssi doesn't support 256 colors. WeeChat doesn't support 256 colors. BitchX doesn't support 256 colors.

And yet vim, my text editor, supports 256 colors.

Am I missing a secret fork of one of the above that has extended color support? Or has nobody in the history of hacking ever thought to implement this?

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    BitchX doesn't support 256 colors because, IIRC its written with ncurses. ncurses only supports 16 foreground and 8 background colors. Same thing with irssi. Source: guckes.net/irssi/index.html Search the page for "256" – Devon Jan 19 '10 at 2:22
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    But that's not true; vim uses ncurses! ncurses can clearly be compiled with 256-color support: c-for-dummies.com/ncurses/256color – Eevee Jan 19 '10 at 2:30

It's 2014 now and there is a patch for Irssi to ramp it up to true 24 bit colours.


WeeChat 0.3.4 is going to support 256 color terminals and the feature appears to be already implemented in the development version.


Here is a "A (not yet finished) IRC client that runs in 256 Colors" found on github after a quick search, using Python and its ncurses binding.

Generally 256 colors-support seems to remain a "planned feature" in a lot of console clients, such as weechat.


fwiw, EPIC5 also supports 256 colours

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