Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I just got a new iMac, and installed iTerm (0.10). On my last laptop 256 color mode worked fine, but I'm having trouble getting this to work on my new Mac.

I copied over all the settings, set $TERM to xterm-256color, but no dice.

I changed my .vimrc to the absolute minimum to try this out:

set t_Co=256
syntax on

Tried multiple colorschemes, too.

share|improve this question
This SO question suggests using let t_Co=256, not set. Any results?… – Nathan Greenstein Jan 16 '11 at 19:43
Also might try this article: – Nathan Greenstein Jan 16 '11 at 19:45
iTerm2 has the advantage of developer support for these kinds of issues. – user2551 Jan 17 '11 at 20:53
I just installed iTerm2 this afternoon, and it's excellent, Much closer to in it's cleanness, but with the extra functionality of iTerm, plus a few extra features of it's own. GLTerminal is also a lot of fun, but thin on extra features ;) – Slomojo Jan 29 '11 at 8:13
FYI, in Lion, Terminal supports 256 colors and has a number of other enhancements. It may be worth taking a look to see whether iTerm2 still offers something you specifically want that Terminal doesn't. – Chris Page Aug 11 '11 at 5:36

OK, so...

I just started vim again, and colors where there. Since then I did make a changehowever, I installed XCode. This is the only thing I did change, so there must be something in there that fixes this.

Thanks for the effort!

share|improve this answer
Prior to Mac OS X Lion 10.7, the terminfo files for xterm-256color and some others were part of the Xcode install instead of the regular system install. In Lion, they are now part of the system install. – Chris Page Aug 10 '11 at 1:42

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.