TrueColor in Gnome Terminal, Tmux and Neovim

Here is where we are right now: . As you can see, most of the editors and terminals now support TrueColor (16 million colors).

The result

Difference between TrueColor (24bits - 16 million colors) and “256colors” (8bits - 256 colors):

Original theme (gruvbox):

TrueColor looks better and comfier for your eyes. So, there is no excuse not to use it.

Gnome Terminal

gnome-terminal has to be in version linked against libvte >= 0.36.

1) Check

ldd /usr/lib/gnome-terminal/gnome-terminal-server | grep libvte

2) Install

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gnome3-team/gnome3-staging
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install -y gnome-terminal
sudo add-apt-repository -r ppa:gnome3-team/gnome3-staging

3) Restart gnome-terminal-server (I’ve just rebooted my machine, but killing the corresponding process should also do the job).



tmux must be >= 2.2.

1) Check

tmux -V

2) Kill tmux (tmux kill-server) and (optionally) remove it

3) Install

On Ubuntu:

sudo apt-get install -y libevent-dev libncurses-dev build-essential
wget && \
  tar -xzvf tmux-2.2.tar.gz && \
  cd tmux-2.2 && \
  ./configure && \
  make && \
  sudo make install

4) Alias tmux or set $TERM env variable

alias tmux="env TERM=xterm-256color tmux"

5) Set option, which overrides default terminal

# .tmux.conf
set-option -ga terminal-overrides ",xterm-256color:Tc"

6) Check (inside tmux)

tmux info | grep Tc

If the command reports Tc: [missing], then support for 24-bit colors has not been enabled properly because the terminal-overrides option may have specified the outer terminal’s $TERM value incorrectly or because tmux may have been reattached to an entirely different outer terminal altogether.



1) Set env variable

" .nvimrc

2) Pick a theme, which does not force 256 colors if !has('gui_running') or checks for neovim (discussion):


My dotfiles:

Anton Kaliaev

Software engineer, blogger, public speaker, traveler

Ulyanovsk, Russia