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I log into my server remotely, and use VIM to edit files. Using the noctu colorscheme, VIM uses the available default 8 system colors and their light/bold variants, 16 colors total.

For whatever reason, on this terminal, the dark and light greens and the dark and light cyans are very similar.

With syntax highlighting in VIM, they are almost indistinguishable. The terminal is capable of 256 colors, as running the 256colors2.pl script shows the full spectrum.

Is there a way to modify the .bashrc to improve the contrast on some of the colors?

Research note: Everything I've read on the subject requires modifications to .Xdefaults or something, which I can't do because I'm not running an X window system, I'm logging in remotely -- no gui.

  • You should change the settings of the terminal on your local machine, not the remote server. The suggestions to modify .Xdefaults are referring to doing so on your local machine, though if .Xdefaults is actually the file to modify will depend on what operating system and terminal you are using. Again, the server is irrelevant here, it's your local computer that matters. – 8bittree Sep 22 '15 at 13:32
  • @8bittree Okay, that was the information I was missing -- the display is handled by the local machine, not the server. That seems obvious now. If you put this in an answer format, I'll accept. – ridthyself Sep 22 '15 at 13:41
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You should change the settings of the terminal on your local machine, not the remote server. The suggestions to modify .Xdefaults are referring to doing so on your local machine, though if .Xdefaults is actually the file to modify will depend on what operating system and terminal you are using. Again, the server is irrelevant here, it's your local computer that matters.

Also, if your terminal does use .Xdefaults, you probably actually want to use .Xresources. That is an Arch Linux wiki link, though, so check your platform's documentation as well.


Alternatively, in Vim on the server, you can try some of the things listed under :help xterm-color to get Vim to use 256 colors. That won't help with other programs, like Bash, but could be combined with the above. I personally have not had much luck with these settings, though, and they're probably partly colorscheme dependent.

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