I am trying to install the Solarized color scheme for my terminal on 10.8.4 Mountain Lion. I downloaded the .terminal files from https://github.com/tomislav/osx-terminal.app-colors-solarized and followed the instructions in the README which said:

OS X 10.7 Lion: Double click to install or import into Terminal.app preferences.
OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion: Import into Terminal.app preferences.

I declared the terminal as xterm-256color: Settings

But the Terminal looks like this: Terminal

What can I do so that the all the colors in the Solarized theme show up? You can see in my second screenshot that I ran ls and the directories aren't colored properly.

  • 1
    I'll clean up some text. What exactly isn't correct about these pictures? Please edit in exactly what you want to see differently or why the settings you have shown us are incorrect.
    – bmike
    Commented Aug 29, 2013 at 1:20
  • The pictures weren't showing up, so I edited it to fix that. Commented Aug 29, 2013 at 2:04
  • What is your prompt? and are you expecting ls output to be in colour?
    – mmmmmm
    Commented Aug 30, 2013 at 9:36
  • Mark, yes, I was expecting ls to color directories and executables in different colors similar to how Linux OSes do it. Commented Aug 31, 2013 at 3:06

2 Answers 2


The bright green, yellow, blue, and cyan foreground colors seem to be almost the same as the default foreground color:

Or if you were expecting the themes to add colors to new places, they don't. They are Terminal settings files just change some of the settings that can also be changed from Terminal's preferences. You can make ls use colors with something like export CLICOLOR= LSCOLORS=dxfxcxdxbxegedabagacad.

  • I expected it to use the full range of colors shown, some for text color for certain commands. What is the point of the theme if it comes with all those colors and only uses two? Also, where exactly do I put export CLICOLOR= LSCOLORS=dxfxcxdxbxegedabagacad? Commented Aug 29, 2013 at 20:49
  • It does use all hues for the non-bright colors, but you could try unchecking "Use bright colors for bold text" or copying the non-bright colors over the bright colors. If you use bash, put the export command in ~/.bashrc and add . ~/.bashrc to ~/.bash_profile. See this answer.
    – Lri
    Commented Aug 30, 2013 at 6:11
  • Thank you! This did it for me. Out of curiosity, why does adding the export to ~/.bash_profile not work, if, as the other post says, Terminal reads ~/.bash_profile on startup? I tried this, and it didn't work, so I put the export in ~/.bashrc like the other post explained. Also I like having my Terminal text be bold, so I did this in my settings, but the text in the Terminal is still not bold. Any ideas? Thanks! Commented Aug 31, 2013 at 3:24
  • Adding the export command to ~/.bash_profile should work by default, but I don't know why it wouldn't. Your default font seems to be Monaco, which doesn't have a bold typeface.
    – Lri
    Commented Aug 31, 2013 at 5:42
  • Okay thanks! One last thing, I promise. The text colors look "off" in the terminal. For example, when in MacVim vs Terminal Vim. Why are the colors washed out/lighter in the terminal than they should be? Commented Aug 31, 2013 at 6:05

I did have a similar issue, and washed-out colors got fixed by switching to a different Solarized port. Now everything looks great, completely identical to MacVim.

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