Files in this directory determine the default behavior for utilities
when coloring output.
The name is a utility name. The name is optional and when none is
specified then the file is used for all unspecified utilities.
The term is a terminal identifier (the TERM environment variable).
The terminal identifier is optional and when none is specified then
the file is used for all unspecified terminals.
The type is a file type. Supported file types are:
Turns off output colorization for all compatible utilities.
enable Turns on output colorization; any matching disable files are
scheme Specifies colors used for output. The file format may be
specific to the utility, the default format is described
If there are more files that match for a utility, then the file with
the more specific filename wins. For example, the filename
"@xterm.scheme" has less priority than "email@example.com". The
lowest priority are those files without a utility name and terminal
identifier (e.g. "disable").
The user-specific $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/terminal-colors.d or
$HOME/.config/terminal-colors.d overrides the global setting.
Disable colors for all compatible utilities:
Disable colors for all compatible utils on a vt100 terminal:
Disable colors for all compatible utils except dmesg(1):
touch /etc/terminal-colors.d/disabletouch /etc/terminal-colors.d/dmesg.enable
The following statement is recognized:
The name is a logical name of color sequence (for example "error").
The names are specific to the utilities. For more details always see
the COLORS section in the man page for the utility.
The color-sequence is a color name, ASCII color sequences or escape
black, blink, blue, bold, brown, cyan, darkgray, gray, green,
halfbright, lightblue, lightcyan, lightgray, lightgreen,
lightmagenta, lightred, magenta, red, reset, reverse, and yellow.
ANSI color sequences
The color sequences are composed of sequences of numbers separated by
semicolons. The most common codes are:
0 to restore default color
1 for brighter colors
4 for underlined text
5 for flashing text
30 for black foreground
31 for red foreground
32 for green foreground
33 for yellow (or brown) foreground
34 for blue foreground
35 for purple foreground
36 for cyan foreground
37 for white (or gray) foreground
40 for black background
41 for red background
42 for green background
43 for yellow (or brown) background
44 for blue background
45 for purple background
46 for cyan background
47 for white (or gray) background
To specify control or blank characters in the color sequences, C-
style \-escaped notation can be used:
\a Bell (ASCII 7)
\b Backspace (ASCII 8)
\e Escape (ASCII 27)
\f Form feed (ASCII 12)
\n Newline (ASCII 10)
\r Carriage Return (ASCII 13)
\t Tab (ASCII 9)
\v Vertical Tab (ASCII 11)
\? Delete (ASCII 127)
\\ Backslash (\)
\^ Caret (^)
\# Hash mark (#)
Please note that escapes are necessary to enter a space, backslash,
caret, or any control character anywhere in the string, as well as a
hash mark as the first character.
For example, to use a red background for alert messages in the output
of dmesg(1), use:
echo 'alert 37;41' >> /etc/terminal-colors.d/dmesg.schemeComments
Lines where the first non-blank character is a # (hash) are ignored.
Any other use of the hash character is not interpreted as introducing
This page is part of the util-linux (a random collection of Linux
utilities) project. Information about the project can be found at
⟨https://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/utils/util-linux/⟩. If you have a
bug report for this manual page, send it to
firstname.lastname@example.org. This page was obtained from the
project's upstream Git repository
2017-03-13. If you discover any rendering problems in this HTML ver‐
sion of the page, or you believe there is a better or more up-to-date
source for the page, or you have corrections or improvements to the
information in this COLOPHON (which is not part of the original man‐
ual page), send a mail to email@example.com
util-linux January 2014 TERMINAL_COLORS.D(5)