I am rather new to Mac, but I am trying to get familiar with Terminal and I want to change its theme. I am a bit confused on how to go about installing Solarized themes I am seeing so much of around the net. I am able to get the theme installed for vim, but I want it for just my general terminal usage.

I see some suggesting to install SIMBL but then I read if you have Lion, SIMBL is not needed with the color support that it has.

And then I've seen a suggestion to just "double click" to install, I am not entirely sure what is meant to be double clicked, the Solarized Dark ansi.terminal file?

My concern is running something that I am not sure what it is going to do. So anyone who could shed some light on this process, that would be extremely helpful!

  • Use ITerm2 (which is free btw), not Terminal -- ITerm2 offers many more options, and lets you split windows. Commented Jul 3, 2014 at 6:55

3 Answers 3


Just open up terminal, go to the preferences and select the theme (the .terminal file)

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  • 1
    Running 10.8, Import... displays the .terminal file in light gray "unselectable" font.
    – Chap
    Commented Aug 25, 2013 at 4:49

Double-Clicking a .terminal file will not "run" anything, it will just install the configuration in Terminal. At the end you will get to the same result by double-clicking and by importing the settings from Terminal directly.

  • You can configure a .terminal file to run a command after opening it, i.e. when you specify a command to run once opening a new tab or window in a theme's configuration the .terminal file inherits this. So it can and may run commands.
    – erran
    Commented Sep 16, 2012 at 22:23

Using the 'save link as' option on the Github site for these themes didn't work, as noted in another answer. I dug in and noticed that the XML file formats were different when comparing the export of built-in themes and the ones I was trying to import.

When I did the Download .zip (the link is on the RHS of the main github window) and expanded the .zip file, it resulted in getting Solarized Dark.terminal and Solarized Light.terminal files which were import-able.

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