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Customising Colours in Leopard Terminal

I upgraded to Leopard a couple of days ago, and was reminded how hard it is to read the default blue colour in Terminal on a black background. Mike Solomon’s TerminalColors was written for Tiger’s Terminal and so doesn’t work with Leopard, so here is my SIMBL hack for Leopard’s Terminal – it allows customisation of ANSI colours on a per-profile basis

  1. Make sure you have SIMBL installed – follow Allan’s instructions for Input Manager support on Leopard

  2. Download

  3. Extract to ~/Library/Application Support/SIMBL/Plugins

  4. Restart Terminal and click the More… button in the Text tab of Settings

176 Responses to “Customising Colours in Leopard Terminal”

  1. on 02 Nov 2007 at 9:41 amMartin Ström

    THANKS! I almost made the switch back to iTerm

  2. on 02 Nov 2007 at 9:51 amMartin Ström

    But the colors doesn’t seem to be saved when I quit Terminal.

  3. on 02 Nov 2007 at 6:52 pmCiarán

    It looks like the saving might not be working for the built-in themes – it certainly works for my custom one though. Try duplicating the theme you are using and changing the colours, then setting that to the default.

    I’ll look into the saving problem.

  4. on 02 Nov 2007 at 10:32 pmSam

    Yes!! Thanks so much for this. This is an incredible lifeserver for someone who spends most of their day in Terminal and gets so frustrated by that unreadable dark blue.

    After I installed this, I started getting a popup that TerminalColors (the old one) was untested with Terminal and was disabled. This new version was still enabled and worked but the popup was annoying. Simply deleting the old package took away the popup; for me it was located in /Library/Application Support/SIMBL/Plugins/TerminalColors.bundle

    Thanks again! Much appreciated.

  5. on 03 Nov 2007 at 8:56 pmN


    i was forced back to xterm for a while… i feel dirty… but now all is good again! thank you so much for this. All must know of the success.

  6. on 05 Nov 2007 at 10:25 amJonas Carlsson

    Thanks, that was superb!

  7. on 06 Nov 2007 at 7:32 amNathan Gray

    You are my hero. Apple owes you a beer. Why can’t those clowns see how necessary this is???

  8. on 06 Nov 2007 at 5:16 pmChris Brinker

    Thank you so much for making this happen, I was waiting on to make this work, but you beat him out :)

    Thanks again!

  9. on 07 Nov 2007 at 4:35 amChris Meidinger

    Brilliant Work! This was the number one annoyance on OSX 10.5 until moments ago!

  10. on 08 Nov 2007 at 2:26 amWill Norris

    Let me just echo everyone else… thank you very much. This was a major annoyance for me as well… one of the few things that almost made me regret upgrading to Leopard so early.

  11. on 08 Nov 2007 at 4:27 pmKarol

    Sweet baby jesus and the orphans thank you.

  12. on 16 Nov 2007 at 7:09 pmCiarán Walsh’s Blog » Blurminal

    [...] which would make the image showing through behind terminal windows blurred – here it is. See this post for installation [...]

  13. on 18 Nov 2007 at 4:09 amBen

    Would you consider releasing the source, so those of us who don’t want to bother with SIMBL can still look into getting this fix somehow?

    Also, confirming that the colors are saved only on a completely new theme; creating a theme with “Duplicate Settings” does not preserve these color settings after Terminal is quit.

  14. on 21 Nov 2007 at 10:40 pmt

    Thanks so much for writing this.

  15. on 26 Nov 2007 at 10:51 amruthven

    To set the ANSI colors to the terminal, I just added two commands to my Settings. In the ‘shell’ tab, just add the following LSCOLORS settings to the ‘Startup’:

    export CLICOLOR=1;export LSCOLORS=cxfxexexDxexexDxDxcxcx;clear;

    (the colors codes are found in manpage for ls: ‘man ls’).

  16. on 27 Nov 2007 at 4:21 amTrance

    This doesn’t seem to affect any of the Bright color settings. I’ve set them all, and none are changing in the terminal :(

  17. on 27 Nov 2007 at 10:47 pmTrance

    Sorry I was a bit negative… I just really want this to work, as I spend a good portion of my day inside terminals, and I haven’t yet found an application for the Mac that provides the customization I’m used to.

    This TerminalColors hack is incredibly useful, and I’d love to see it work perfectly.

    Steps to reproduce:

    1. Install SIMBL and TerminalColors.
    2. Make a new terminal profile.
    3. Set all colors to custom under the ‘More…’ SIMBL hack.
    4. Uncheck ‘use bold fonts’, and check ‘use bright colors for bold text’.

    The ‘use bright colors’ checkbox appears to add a certain hex value to the normal color values, rather than using anything from the ‘Bright’ column of colors, since the bright colors change when you change the basic color.

  18. on 27 Nov 2007 at 10:59 pmCiarán

    @ruthven: This hack allows you to configure those colours, e.g. in man ls you can see that an “a” in LSCOLORS specifies red – using this hack you can configure the red colour.

    @Trance: If I uncheck “Use bold fonts” and check “Use bright colors for bold text” then the terminal uses the colour specified on the right, byt the well labeled “Bold Text”. I am not really sure what these options should be configuring so I can’t say what the expected behaviour should be here…

  19. on 27 Nov 2007 at 11:02 pmCiarán

    @Ben: How exactly would you go about loading this into Terminal without SIMBL?

  20. on 28 Nov 2007 at 10:43 pmTrance

    Thanks for responding so quickly. It took me a while to figure out how to phrase things correctly, so I decided to provide a screenshot:

    The lower right hand portion of the screenshot shows the text from an ansi-enabled application I’m using in the terminal. I’d like for the ‘bright’ (ansi bold code) to show up using the custom colors selected in the ‘bright’ column of the terminal hack. I can’t find anywhere that the actual ‘Bold Text’ color shows up – as far as I know, with this configuration and this application, it’s unused.

  21. on 29 Nov 2007 at 12:22 amCiarán

    Trance: And what is this ANSI-enabled application? ;)

  22. on 29 Nov 2007 at 2:33 amTrance


  23. on 05 Dec 2007 at 7:48 pmVibrant Ink for Leopard Terminal

    [...] mentioned on Ciarán Walsh’s Blog, the default blue background that’s being used for Leopard’s terminal is difficult to [...]

  24. on 06 Dec 2007 at 6:18 pmSyndetic

    After about a week and a half of squinting just to be able to read source-code comments, this little gem of your popped up on my radar and has been a blessing. Like some others, the new was making me sort-of regret the move to Leopard, but I was unwilling to revert to Tiger given all of the positive aspects of the new OS. Now we’re back in the green thanks to Ciarán. I knew that someone was going to step up to the plate on this, whether it be Mike Solomon or someone else.

    Ciarán, thank you a lot. You’ve saved the eyesight of thousands of command-line jockeys worldwide.


  25. on 10 Dec 2007 at 6:50 pmNeil

    By the way, SIMBL is correctly installed (I have Visor working, for example) — I just can’t seem to get any colour to appear in the Terminal window without resorting to ls -G.

  26. on 10 Dec 2007 at 7:09 pmCiarán

    Trance: I took a look at TinTin++ but I don’t know what I need to do to observe the issue – could you please provide me with minimal steps to reproduce so I can take a look.

    Neil: I am not really sure what problem you are having, please explain what you expect to happen and what is actually happening.

  27. [...] in the current window instead. I completely forgot to post it, but you can now download it here. See here for how to [...]

  28. on 12 Dec 2007 at 12:29 amK

    For example, you can see the same in GNU ls (ls –color=auto). The color seems to be not affected by bright color settings.

  29. on 12 Dec 2007 at 10:41 pmTrance

    Thanks for looking into it!

    To create the example in my screenshot with TT++, I input the following command after loading it up in the terminal:

    #show <208>Black<218>Red<228>Green<238>Yellow<248>Blue<258>Magenta<268>Cyan<278>White<088>;#show <108>Black<118>Red<128>Green<138>Yellow<148>Blue<158>Magenta<168>Cyan<178>White<088>

    The first #show command displays all the colors in dim (regular) format, and the second #show displays them in bold (bright). No matter what you change the bright colors to using TerminalColors, even if it’s changing Yellow to Magenta, it will still display as a more ‘washed out’ version of the non-bright color.

    As K said, this will show up in any use of ansi bold colors in the terminal, not limited to TT++.

  30. on 23 Dec 2007 at 12:30 amGreg

    Possibly this script on the tt++ website works for the leopard terminal?

  31. on 30 Dec 2007 at 2:31 amTrance

    The script doesn’t work, since it still uses the standard ansi color codes for the output. It’s a problem with the terminal application itself. As I said, this happens even with non-tt++ programs. TT++ was just an easy way of testing it.

    Anyways, I gave up on since I figured out how to set the colors in (and changing bright colors works!). Now if only they would fix copy/paste…

  32. on 06 Jan 2008 at 8:25 amCory

    Trance is right, there is still a disconnect here after customizing the colors.

    The reason most of you aren’t noticing it is your “bright color” is simply the same hue with larger value.

    To see the issue, set your “bright color” for some color to something COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. For example, make the red “bright color” green. You can play around with the other checkboxes and see that there is no way to make “bright red” look green.. it always just looks like a brighter red. The whole “bright colours” column is being ignored.

    Why does this matter? Old Linux ANSI terminals (and probably many others, for all I know) display some colors substantially different in the bright version. In MUDs, for example, the “dark yellow” color was actually brown, and was used for brown things (everything leather, for example, was colored “dark yellow”). Yellow was yellow.

    Similarly, “dark red” was red, but “bright red” was more pinkish.

    Purists like me think this matters, a lot. Also, it doesn’t make much sense to have a “bright colours” column you can fiddle around with if it doesn’t actually do anything.

    Other than that, this SIMBL plugin rocks.

  33. on 06 Jan 2008 at 8:32 amCory

    BTW, it looks like the “bright colours” checkbox in Leopard actually means “increase value and reduce saturation”. That’s all it does, it doesn’t look up the “bright colour” value from the plugin.

    And because it reduces saturation, the magenta looks like crap. :(

  34. on 08 Jan 2008 at 9:45 pmPetri Sirkkala

    Thank you very much. I can see, I can see!

  35. on 19 Jan 2008 at 5:29 amAndrew Premdas

    Many thanks for this, very much appreciated. Wonder if it might be worth telling Mike Solomon about this so his site could link here.

  36. on 19 Jan 2008 at 8:06 amRichard Burford (psynaptic)

    You are a legend Ciaran, thanks so much.

  37. on 21 Jan 2008 at 4:14 amBrett

    It doesn’t save the colors for me still… even if I make a brand new theme. Any ideas?

  38. [...] (Settings), you can’t change the colors. Ciarán Walsh provides a great solution to this on his blog, which uses the also great [...]

  39. [...] to call, beg, brib, and whatever it takes to Apple. Until then there is a popular hack for this here. But be sure to follow the instructions here first. I did have any success getting it [...]

  40. on 27 Jan 2008 at 8:04 pmJim Reese

    I’m running a newly installed copy of 10.5.1 (archive and install) on an Intel iMac. I’ve installed SIMBL and the plugin as instructed. Every time I start Terminal, I get a dialog box with this message:

    Terminal 2.0 (v237) has not been tested with the plugin TerminalColors 0.2.1 (v5). As a precaution, it has not been loaded. Please contact the plugin developer (not the SIMBL author) for further information.

    Any advice as to how to get around this will be greatly appreciated.

  41. on 28 Jan 2008 at 4:31 pmJim Reese

    Never mind. Version 0.2.1 is an older version. The problem has been fixed.

  42. on 30 Jan 2008 at 6:42 pmJordan Hulet

    I’m also having problem saving even if I create a completely new theme.

  43. on 06 Feb 2008 at 9:21 pmJason Zwolak

    Saving (kw: save) the colors requires the following steps:

    • Create a new theme
    • Set the colors (this must be done before closing Terminal)
    • Then close and restart Terminal

    Note that once Terminal is closed any changes to the colors will be lost.

  44. on 06 Feb 2008 at 9:23 pmJason Zwolak

    For clarity change that last line from - Note that once Terminal is closed any changes to the colors will be lost.


    • Note that once Terminal is closed any subsequent changes to the colors will be lost.
  45. on 07 Feb 2008 at 3:35 pmJens Langner

    Hey mates, great tool. However, I am still getting the SIMBL Error warning requester each time I start for the first time. It states: “Terminal 2.0(v237) has not been tested with the plugin TerminalColors 0.2.1 (v5). As a precaution it has not been loaded…”. I can however set the colors correctly (as explained in the comments here). But the requester is quite annoying. Does anyone know how to get rid of it? I can also not find any newer version of TerminalColors that is known to work with the latest version of v237

  46. on 07 Feb 2008 at 3:40 pmJens Langner

    Ups. sorry guys. But I guess I did the same mistake than Jim Reese. I had the older 0.2.1 in /Library/Application Support/SIMBL and installed the new one to ~/Library/Application Support/SIMBL. Now that I have only the latest one from here installed everything works as expected. thanks.

  47. on 11 Feb 2008 at 4:12 pmgugi

    I cannot get the More.. button to show up. I believe I am doing everything correctly – single InputManagers location in /Library/, permissions set correctly, etc.

    Could it be that my mac is 1.8 GHz Core 2 Duo/10.5.1 (mac mini)? As far as I understand that has some 64bit extensions and from Alan’s page InputManagers cannot be loaded by any 64 bit process (number 7).

    Anybody has been successfull on such configuration?

    Thanks alot

  48. on 12 Feb 2008 at 1:10 amGlenn Rempe


    I just updated to the new Leopard 10.5.2 update. Unfortunately it seems to have broken/disabled TerminalColours. Any tips for re-enabling? Or does this require a new build?

    Here is a screenshot of the error message.



  49. on 12 Feb 2008 at 1:25 amGlenn Rempe

    PS (See Previous Post):

    Here are the details of my installation location and the permissions.

    This was working under 10.5.1

    Thanks for the help,


  50. on 12 Feb 2008 at 5:13 amPetri Sirkkala

    To hack the TerminalColours bundle to work in Leopard 10.5.2 update:

    1. Install XCode developer tools from Leopard DVD.

    2. Locate the bundle in ~/Library/Application Support/SIMBL/Plugins (Finder Shift+G and paste the above)

    3. Open the TerminalColours bundle (rightclick -> Show Contents…)

    4. Open Contents -> Info.plist

    5. Change Root -> SIMBLTargetApplications -> 0 -> MaxBundleVersion value to 240.

    6. Save and relaunch Terminal.

    Works for me, but as you know, something may break… you have been warned.

  51. on 12 Feb 2008 at 5:23 amHeejong Lee

    You can reactivate TerminalColours.bundle by editing BundleVersion properties in Info.plist.

    1. Open Terminal and follow the TerminalColours.bundle installation path.

    2. Inside the bundle directory, there should be Content/Info.plist file.

    3. Open it with your favorite editor and substitute every string “237″ with “240″(it appears twice in the file).

    4. Reload Terminal.

    Compatibility issue may exist, but it works fine for me.

  52. on 12 Feb 2008 at 5:57 pmAlex

    @Heejong Lee: Thanks for the tip! This also seems to work fine for me.

  53. on 12 Feb 2008 at 8:46 pmThaweesak

    @Heejong Lee: Thanks for the tip! Never realized how ugly the default terminal colors looks like. Thanks to you, I don’t have to suffer for another minute. :)

  54. [...] TerminalColours – Original Post [...]

  55. on 14 Feb 2008 at 10:55 amRob O

    Strange… I followed the instructions exactly and changed both 237′s to 240. Saved and relaunched Terminal but the colors are still missing.

  56. on 14 Feb 2008 at 11:43 amRob O

    Scratch my above comment. I was mistaken and it works now (I think)

  57. on 14 Feb 2008 at 6:19 pmWes Brown

    I did the steps outlined above, but it still crashes :( Has anyone run into TerminalColours crashing? This is on a G5, with 10.5.2.

  58. on 16 Feb 2008 at 12:07 amaxolx

    Wes –

    Yes, it broke on my machine after I upgraded to 10.5.2

  59. [...] to Todd for putting this together, and more thanks to Ciarán Walsh and Terminal [...]

  60. on 28 Feb 2008 at 1:33 amNetwork Synapse Blog

    OS X Changing ANSI Colors…

    Since Apple released their latest release of MacOS X, changing the Terminal application’s colors have once again become a pain. Even with the previous release, you could drag and drop colors from the color swatch to the color you wanted to change. Thi…

  61. on 10 Mar 2008 at 7:39 pmDennis Roberts

    Thank you! This has bothered me for so long and now there is a simple fix.

  62. on 28 Mar 2008 at 4:13 amelliottcable

    Hey! I can’t get this to work for the life of me: (Sorry for the tinyurl, it’s a picture of my terminal, proving I installed it correctly, but it isn’t there)

    Any tips? I chown’d, installed, etcetra. What am I doing wrong?

  63. on 31 Mar 2008 at 3:03 pmStuart

    This isn’t working for me at all.

    All correctly installed. I’ve chowned. Everything. Even edited the info.plist. Nothing.

    I’m not receiving any error messages, I’m simply not getting a “more…” option under terminal.

    Is there anything I need to do to activate SIMBL? Is there a way to check if it’s running properly?

    Any help appreciated.

  64. on 09 Apr 2008 at 1:48 amKyle

    Leopard – Finally!…

    So, I upgraded to MacOS 10.5 recently (from 10.4). Those of you who know me will doubtless be thinking “my god, man, what took so long?!?”, and that’s a longer story than I want to get into right now. Suffice……

  65. on 10 Apr 2008 at 4:27 pmWill

    Thanks for porting this for Leopard, my eyes were starting to hurt.

    It seems to load and work okay — but it seems to be failing to save my settings (as others reported above). I did create my own theme and changed the settings there, and set it to Default, but it still reverts the settings once I quit Terminal and re-launch.

    Actually .. it looks like it might have saved some of them, but not all of them, and I can’t seem to get it to change what it has saved.

  66. on 11 Apr 2008 at 5:21 pmDav

    Thanks thanks thanks!

  67. on 14 Apr 2008 at 10:32 pmEric Walkingshaw

    Many, many thanks. The dark blue on black background was driving me nuts.

    @Will (and others having issues with settings not being saved):

    I had this issue as well. Once I got things tweaked the way I wanted, I exported my settings (Gear Icon -> Export…), deleted the original, then re-imported them. Seemed to do the trick.

  68. [...] found that the default blue color was very difficult to read against the dark background. I found this which lets you customize the Terminal colors on a per-profile basis. Very [...]

  69. on 22 May 2008 at 1:36 amdrj

    So are those of us on x86_64 Leopard just out of luck now? I seemed to have had this working in early versions of Leopard, but it broke during one of the updates somewhere along the line.

  70. on 22 May 2008 at 2:09 amdrj

    Nevermind… got things working on Leopard x86_64

    There is so much conflicting information and instructions out there for all these bundles.

    I got it to work by setting all the permissions as they are instructed by the textmate wiki, linked from this blog entry.

    But both this post, and the textmate wiki tell you to put the bundles in the incorrect place.

    They should be in /Library/Application\ Support/SIMBL/Plugins

  71. on 30 May 2008 at 7:08 pmgugi

    Yay, works for me on 10.5.3 and 1.8Ghz Core 2 Duo! The recipe: 1) Removed my previous attempts from ~/Library and /Library 2) Installed Xcode 3) Installed SIMBL 0.8.2 (goes in /Library/InputManagers) – it had the correct ownership root:admin 4) Copied TerminalColors.bundle (from step 2 in the original post) to /Library/Application\ Support/SIMBL/Plugins and changed the ownership to root:admin 5) Restarted – works!!!

    I think I will be avoiding any further os x upgrades now….

  72. on 05 Jul 2008 at 4:48 pmParticle Man

    Well, I didn’t avoid the upgrade to 10.5.4 (and why does everyone tend to also specify their CPU?) because I found this hack afterward. For me, the bright colors will not apply to the terminal.

    My settings: disable Use bold fonts enable Use bright colors (export CLICOLOR_FORCE=’1′)

    According to previous post, I’ve tried, but without success: 1. creating a new theme, 2. exporting and importing a theme, 3. moving ~/Library/Application Support/SIMBL/Plugins/TerminalColors.bundle to /Library/InputManagers/SIMBL/Plugins plus chmod -R root:admin TerminalColors.bundle, 4. changing MinBundleVersion “237″ to “240″ (Max is already 240). 5. and restarting Terminal as necessary.

    And there appears to be a bug. When changing a color (at least with a slider), selecting another color, then selecting the first color again, the first color is reset, or perhaps one slider. I can’t figure it out any more than that right now.

  73. on 10 Jul 2008 at 10:51 pmRasheed

    I’m having the same problem Particle Man with 10.5.4 what can we do?


  74. on 14 Jul 2008 at 12:07 pmCiarán

    Hi all,

    Just to let you know I will be trying to update this – I’ve been away from an internet connection for a little while and I’ve not updated to 10.5.4 yet. As soon as I do I’ll do my best to get a fix out.


  75. on 17 Jul 2008 at 6:01 amRasheed

    THX Ciarán!

  76. [...] Reference: [...]

  77. on 28 Jul 2008 at 10:44 amRasheed

    @Ciarán Have you found a solution?

  78. on 28 Jul 2008 at 10:56 amCiarán

    Rasheed: sorry, I’ve been trying to concentrate on fixing SVNMate. I have actually upgraded to 10.5.4 though and didn’t have any issues ith this plug-in at all, it all works fine.

    It sounds like Particle Man is actually just commenting about the bright colours, not that the plug-in doesn’t work. You probably just need to configure SIMBL properly.

  79. on 28 Jul 2008 at 4:12 pmParticle Man

    Ciarán: I don’t know if it’s because of SIMBL or your hack (“the plug-in”?). For me, the hack/plug-in loads fine. While changing the dark colors changes them in Terminal, changing the bright colors does not.

    Are you saying that it works properly for you? If so, how do you configure SIMBL “properly” for the plug-in to work? Apparently the given instructions do not work for at least Rasheed and myself.

  80. on 28 Jul 2008 at 11:18 pmRasheed

    The problem for me is same as Particle Man, the bright colors..

  81. on 12 Aug 2008 at 5:06 pmED

    All is working fine with the exception of the pesky error window on Terminal startup that is not selected by default and can not be selected with cmd-~ so you have to mouse to it. : ( I downloaded from:

    ==err == Terminal 2.0.1 (v240) has not been tested with the plugin TerminalColors 0.2.1 (v5). As a precaution, it has not been loaded. Please contact the plugin developer (not the SIMBL author) for further information. == end err ==

    I custom configuration and it saves fine I had a window group which for some reason needed to be updated. :( I deleted it duplicated the working custom config and created the groups again with same name.

    As a result my key binding for the group still works.

  82. on 12 Aug 2008 at 5:12 pmCiarán

    ED: You most likely have an old version installed as well as the current one. Check in ~/Library/Application Support/SIMBL/PlugIns.

  83. [...] amazing SIMBL plugin by Ciaran Walsh (of TextMate plugin fame) that fixes that. Check it out at his site. It’s probably one of the more useful plugins I [...]

  84. on 14 Oct 2008 at 10:02 pmMichael

    YES!! Thank you so much. This will now be the first thing I install on any new macs. Please add support to change the font color like this Apple! This man knows how to do it!!

  85. on 04 Nov 2008 at 8:24 pmerik

    Has anyone gotten this to work with 10.5.5? If so, what steps did you have to take?

  86. on 06 Nov 2008 at 2:12 amSergei


    I’ve gotten this to work in 10.5.5, just as described: 1) Install PlugSuit (don’t know if this is required) 2) Install SIMBL. I didn’t have to remove anything from ~/Library. Maybe because this is a fresh Mac (bought today). 3) Download the TerminalColors.bundle and put it into /Library/Application Support/SIMBL/Plugins/

    Launch Terminal, go to Preferences, click on Text tab and the “More” key is there. My eyes thanked Ciaran!

  87. on 07 Nov 2008 at 12:58 amd,m

    this add-on rocks!! even if it is a bit tricky with having to “copy” the color profile for it to save the settings..

  88. on 14 Nov 2008 at 8:41 pmGapato

    Hey, this is just so … reliving !! That won’t change the world, but it will definitely save my eyes ! Thanks :)

  89. on 16 Nov 2008 at 3:55 pmMario

    I join the praising chorus: Brilliant, man.

  90. [...] Ciarán Walsh’s SIMBL plugin that adds customizable ANSI colors to [...]

  91. on 17 Dec 2008 at 2:47 pmTelmo Costa

    Best tip i had since i got my macbook (3 weeks ago!). Thank you V-E-R-Y much!

  92. on 05 Jan 2009 at 3:03 amSteve

    On Tiger, I have been using the TerminalColors hack with a couple of aliases on the desktop to .term files to start up Terminal with different settings. One starts a Terminal running pine, while the other just brings up a shell, with different colors.

    Now with the new Terminal in Leopard and with the two sets of settings exported to .terminal files (and the aliases updated to point to them), each time I invoke one of those aliases it starts the Terminal window as desired but treats this as an import of new settings. Thus, in the list of settings in the Settings window I now have Pine 1, Pine 2, …

    With the Terminal icon in the dock I could start up the the desired settings using the right-click menu, but that is much harder than just clicking on an icon. Is there a way to easily start Terminal with one of a few different settings?

  93. on 14 Feb 2009 at 12:10 amStephen

    Thank You!

    I teach, so my students thank you as well!

  94. [...] public links >> simbl Customising Colours in Leopard Terminal First saved by iluvutubeitrocks | 11 days ago Flagit!: Customised flags for First [...]

  95. on 17 Feb 2009 at 11:11 amrw:rewrite - os x 10.5 .profile

    [...] you have trouble with too dark colors you might want to install SIMBL and then follow these instructions witch would allow you to change colors tough the [...]

  96. [...] SIMBL and TerminalColors following the instructions on Ciarán Walsh’s blog. This is required for the color changes in [...]

  97. [...] this great theme. Something that deserves a mention is Ciaran O’Leary’s blog entry on customizing color schemes in Leapord. This is an essential pre-requisite to any color themes you wish to use. You must install SIMBL [...]

  98. on 06 Mar 2009 at 11:04 pmJosh

    Still working great!

    FYI to modify a built-in scheme just change something else after tweaking the colors and it will save.


  99. [...] Ciarán Walshs Blog ” Customising Colours in Leopard Terminal [...]

  100. [...] Customising Colours in Leopard Terminal [...]

  101. [...] de instalar o SIMBL, baixe o bundle TerminalColours. Copie o arquivo TerminalColours.bundle para /Library/Application Support/SIMBL/Plugins/. Agora, [...]

  102. [...] Él a su vez hace referencia a otro blog de Ciarán Walsh, quien modificó una extensión para la Terminal para que funcione en Leopard. [...]

  103. on 04 May 2009 at 2:33 amLance

    I was able to leave the plugin in:

    ~/Library/Application Support/SIMBL/Plugins

    The only thing I had to change was the plugin permissions to root:admin

    Thanks for all the hard work

  104. on 07 May 2009 at 10:51 pmCain Manor | OS-X Terminal Tastiness

    [...] add a plugin that allows you to change your terminal colors, called appropriately enough TerminalColours.bundle. The main google link brought me to an installer that didn’t work for me. The URL is to a [...]

  105. on 14 May 2009 at 1:50 amTony

    “Terminal 1.5.1 (v133-1) has not been tested with the plugin TerminalColours (null) (v1.0). As a precaution, it has not been loaded.”

    Is there a fix for this?

  106. on 14 May 2009 at 1:52 amTony

    ah Leopard only, lame… cheers to all who can read.

  107. on 21 Jun 2009 at 6:11 amDeavon M. McCaffery

    Unfortunately, TerminalColours no longer works on Snow Leopard. I did the following to get the SIMBL extension to load, but it doesn’t seem to enable xterm-color (256 colors) in

    GetInfo on in /Applications/Utilities – Check “Run in 32-bit mode” Show package contents on ~/Library/Application Support/SIMBL/Plugins/TerminalColours.bundle – Modify Contents/Info.plist – Change SIMBLTargetApplications > Item 0 > MaxBundlerVersion to 268

    The plugin will now load when launching You can change colors in the preferences; however, only 16 colors are available in the terminal window. xterm-256 is not enabled.

    Has anyone gotten any closer than this to enabling 256 colors in Snow Leopards’ terminal? I can’t believe Apple didn’t update terminal to support xterm-color by default! Argh!

  108. on 03 Jul 2009 at 1:54 amNick

    Leave apple a request

  109. [...] de Leopard (OS X 10.5) no permite modificar los colores, para esto hay que instalar SIMBL y este bundle (sigue las instrucciones) y así será [...]

  110. [...] and referenced here: [...]

  111. on 17 Jul 2009 at 11:08 amValerio Schiavoni

    Thank you soo much, just saved my eyes :-)

  112. on 27 Aug 2009 at 1:51 pmtaylor luk

    No go on Snow leopard

    @Deavon – are you getting any luck to get it to work?

  113. on 28 Aug 2009 at 4:15 pmRob

    same, no go on snow leopard

  114. on 28 Aug 2009 at 4:16 pmRob

    SIMBL Error:

  115. on 28 Aug 2009 at 4:20 pmRob

    Managed to get it to load by changing the MaxBundleVersion to 272 in the TerminalColors info.plist but changing to colors does not affect the colors in :(

  116. on 29 Aug 2009 at 7:13 amEvan Phoenix

    I’ve update the source for TerminalColours and written a post about how to get it working in 10.6.

    Hope this works for you all!

  117. on 29 Aug 2009 at 9:01 amIsa Goksu

    Evan just coded something for Snow Leopard, go download from

  118. on 29 Aug 2009 at 3:58 pmDean

    To those running Snow Leopard:

    evanphx’s fork works great:

  119. on 29 Aug 2009 at 4:54 pmTom Gidden

    Looking into this a bit further, I tried the “old” approach, ie. doing an “Export…” of the theme to a .terminal file and editing that. It looks like the colours are stored just as before as serialized NSColor objects.

    I took a known working .terminal export from my other still-Leopard Mac, confirmed the customised colours are in the file, and loaded it. No luck: it ignores the colours.

    Once SIMBL and TerminalColours are working and loaded (using the 32-bit setting and bumping MaxBundleVersion up), I think TerminalColours is doing what it’s meant to, but is just ignoring the settings.

    I did a “strings” on the binary, and it looks like strings such as “blueColor” are still there, as are methods like “colorForANSIColor:”.

    Interestingly, one thing has changed: in Leopard .terminal files, these settings were spelled “blueColour”, whereas in Snow Leopard, they’ve changed to “blueColor”. Bizarrely, I can’t find any mention of “blueColour” in the Leopard strings, so I don’t know how that’s working.

    The investigation continues…

  120. on 29 Aug 2009 at 5:18 pmTom Gidden

    Oh, it looks like someone’s already done it :-) Serves me right for not adequately googling.

  121. on 30 Aug 2009 at 12:35 amMichael

    This looks pretty good, hopefully Apple will make it official some day. :)

    Note that there’s an ANSI colors editor in MacTelnet, which can be used as a replacement for Terminal on Mac OS X. I personally find it more customizable for these kinds of things.

  122. on 01 Sep 2009 at 3:55 pmJason

    This solution was working fine for me in Snow Leopard, but after a reboot, this no longer works. is still set for 32-bit mode, but all my lovely colors are gone.

  123. on 01 Sep 2009 at 5:29 pmJason

    Hmmmm… Re-installing SIMBL seems to fix my problem. I hope I don’t have to reinstall every time I reboot.

  124. on 03 Sep 2009 at 6:10 pmHans


  125. on 08 Sep 2009 at 12:14 pmdaicoden

    Hey, I went through Trance’s, Rasheed, and Particle Man’s post but I never saw a solution.

    Is there a way to get bright colors to work? I would like to have 16 colors to play with instead of 8. I would like, for instance, bright red to be a dark grey instead of a lighter value of the red color. Unfortunately the terminal seems to just add a hex value to whatever the normal color is.


  126. on 08 Sep 2009 at 3:05 pmTim Harper

    Awesome! Solved a problem that has bugged me for a year now! Thanks!

  127. on 08 Sep 2009 at 8:03 pmJubal

    FYI, the plugin doesn’t seem to work on Snow Leopard. Below is a screenshot of the error message:

    I’ve installed the latest version of SIMBL (0.9.3b) and restarted Terminal a few times, and always get this message, so I don’t know what to do at this point. Would appreciate a response either way.

  128. [...] [ciaran+evanphx+darwin] integrated Terminal Colours SIMBL [...]

  129. on 20 Sep 2009 at 10:18 amlacertaphreak

    Big tyme problem, I’ve been @ this 4 3 days…

    OS = 10.5.8 SIMBL = 0.8.2 (Plugins wont run newest ver.) Visor = 2.0.1 (TermColors built in! Will only run w/ SIMBL 0.8.2)

    I’ve tried all the different versions w/ each other and still nothing. The ANSI “More…” option shows, but no colors in term. I’ve even tried Duplicating Settings to no effect.

    Someone please come up with a hack before I bust a vein in my brain.

  130. on 20 Sep 2009 at 8:55 pmlacertaphreak

    OK, I think I figured it out, but it was a pain in the but and there are little tweaks that are easy to miss.


    How does it look?

  131. on 27 Sep 2009 at 4:42 pmyanokwa has the latest terminalcolour with 10.6, 64bit terminal, and simbl .9.x support.

  132. on 08 Oct 2009 at 1:07 pmrobotmurder

    SIMBL has updated to 64-bit. Can you please update TerminalColours to work with the new version of Terminal.

    Here is a screenshot of what happens when Terminal tries to load the plugin:


  133. on 20 Oct 2009 at 9:35 pmAlex

    I made a tiny patch for 64-bit support and fix new tab bug.

  134. on 20 Oct 2009 at 10:47 pmAlex

    Oops, wrong post. That was patch for tab switching.

  135. on 20 Oct 2009 at 10:56 pmAlex

    Here’s a patch with 64-bit support, also fixes font size on “More…” button:

  136. on 25 Oct 2009 at 8:34 pmRick

    Had this working on 10.5.x, but no luck w/ 10.6.1. The “More” button shows up; however, Terminal ignores the colors.

    SIMBL-0.9.7a TerminalColours w/ Alex’s 64bit patch

  137. on 27 Oct 2009 at 5:44 pmJohn

    Anyone get this working on Snow Leopard? I see the More button but the colors are still jacked…

  138. on 28 Oct 2009 at 3:46 pmPete

    I wish I could get this working in snow leopard, I miss the visual cues about my files.

  139. on 04 Nov 2009 at 12:07 amGreg Loesch

    I’m also looking to get colors workin’ in Snow Leopard… Help!!

  140. on 04 Nov 2009 at 3:21 pmtimmfin

    I merged evanphx’s Snow Leopard fixes with other 64bit fixes I found on github. With this newer bundle and the newest SIMBL that works on Snow Leopard, you don’t need to open the Terminal in 32bit mode any more.

    Follow the same instructions: install the latest SIMBL for Snow Leopard, unzip the file, copy the bundle to the SIMBL plugin folder, and then restart

    ps: I’m a total xcode/objective-c newb, so let me know if I did anything wrong :)

  141. on 06 Nov 2009 at 5:51 amJake

    @timmfin: That still isn’t working for me. Do I have to do anything special?

  142. on 06 Nov 2009 at 6:40 amtimmfin

    @Jake: No, you shouldn’t need to do anything special. To double check, follow these steps:

    • You’re running Snow Leopard and have installed SIMBL-0.9.7a
    • Completely quit Terminal (use “Quit Terminal” from the menu)
    • Remove any terminal color bundles from your ~/Library/Application Settings/SIMBL/Plugins folder
    • Open up /Applications/Utilities in finder, right click on, click “Get info”, and make sure that “Open in 32bit” is not checked
    • Download the link I posted, and move that to ~/Library/Application Settings/SIMBL/Plugins folder
    • Open up Terminal, the more button should show up on the “Text” tab of Terminal preferences

    Hope this helps. Anyone else having trouble with this bundle?

  143. on 06 Nov 2009 at 5:18 pmjake

    Thanks for the reply, @timmfin. The “More” button does appear, but the colors in Terminal are not affected at all. Still just white text.

  144. on 06 Nov 2009 at 9:12 pmtimmfin

    @jake: Hrm. Here are a few last guesses.

    Do you have “Display ANSI colors” checked? Also you need to make sure that the profile you are editing matches the terminal window that is open. To double check, used the Shell -> New window menu action to pick the exact profile you are editing.

  145. on 08 Nov 2009 at 9:51 amliwei


    I followed your instructions, puts all buddles under ~/Library/Application Settings/SIMBL/Plugins folder, it didn’t work, but when i moved these buddles to ~/Library/Application Supports/SIMBL/Plugins, it works!

    Thank you all the same :-)

  146. on 08 Nov 2009 at 3:22 pmtimmfin

    @liwei: Thanks, I must have totally blanked out when I was typing those instructions. I thought I was helping people (instead of referring them to the original instructions far above)… but I actually made it a lot harder :) .

  147. on 09 Nov 2009 at 6:59 pmjake

    Is this totally working for people on Snow Leopard? I get the “More” button, but the colors in my terminal are not affected at all? Anyone else?

  148. on 10 Nov 2009 at 5:40 amxer0x

    Finally got this working again by removing TerminalColors then restarting Installing it cleanly and making sure that root has read/write to the bundle seems to have fixed it.

    Thanks for all this -everyone!

  149. on 04 Dec 2009 at 10:50 pmdave

    Yeah I have the same issues on Snow Leopard. The Bundle is installed and the “more” button is available and displaying the contents. When I ssh to a linux box the colours work fine but when I get back to my local Terminal its still in white. Any help with this would be great?

  150. [...] TerminalColors plugin for SIMBL (instructions available on Ciarán Walsh’s blog). If you are using Snow [...]

  151. [...] you want to further customize colors on your Mac OS X Terminal, you can use SIMBL TerminalColours plugin (Snow Leopard [...]

  152. on 15 Feb 2010 at 12:19 pmknyttr

    Well, I can’t get this to work – I installed the newest version of SIMBL, put the plugin into the right folder, but all I get when I run terminal is:

    “Terminal 2.1 (v272) has not been tested with the plugin TerminalColours (null) (v1.0). As a precaution, it has not been loaded. Please contact the plugin developer for further information.”

  153. on 20 Feb 2010 at 7:45 pmMatthew Schultz

    Having the same “More..” button appears but colors don’t” issue on SL with a fresh install of SIMBL 0.9.7a, and @timmfin’s TerminalColors SL 64-bit compatible plugin (from GitHub) located in ~/Library/Application Support/SIMBL/Plugins/.

    Has anyone found a resolution for this issue?

  154. on 20 Feb 2010 at 7:54 pmMatthew Schultz

    Found the solution! I had to add the following to my .bash_profile

    colorize the Terminal

    export GREP_OPTIONS=’–color=auto’ export CLICOLOR=1;

  155. on 20 Feb 2010 at 8:28 pmMatthew Schultz

    Weird… post got reformatted. Trying again:

    If you don’t have one already, create a .bash_profile file in your home dir, then add these lines:

    export GREP_OPTIONS=’–color=auto’ export CLICOLOR=1;

  156. on 20 Feb 2010 at 8:30 pmMatthew Schultz

    Here we go again (in markdown):

    #colorize the Terminal
    export GREP_OPTIONS='--color=auto'
    export CLICOLOR=1;
  157. on 03 Mar 2010 at 9:52 ampiese auto import

    I tried and i succeed thanks.

  158. on 03 Mar 2010 at 8:06 pmStefan Lasiewski

    yay I finally got this to work.

    I’m running:

    • Leopard 10.5.8
    • Terminal Version 2.0.2 (240.2)
    • SIMBL-0.8.2
    • TerminalColours.bundle as of March 3, 2010

    At first this didn’t work because I installed SIMBL-0.9.7a from However, it turns out that SIMBL-0.9.7a is actually intended for Snow Leopard, so I uninstalled it. I installed SIMBL-0.8.2, and now the plugin works.

    However, when I start Terminal.App, I get popup warning dialog which says:

    “Terminal 2.0.2 (v240.2) has not been tested with the plugin TerminalColors 0.2.1 (v5). As a precaution, it has not been loaded. Please contact the plugin developer (not the SIMBL author) for further information.”

  159. [...] SIMBL et TerminalColors en suivant les info de Ciarán Walsh’s sur son [...]

  160. on 22 Mar 2010 at 12:17 pmDevivan » 美化OS X Leopard终端

    [...] 下载更改终端颜色所需的SYMBL插件 – SYMBL bundle [...]

  161. on 03 Apr 2010 at 3:41 pmleopard 上的彩色Terminal

    [...] Leopard 2.安装TerminalColors(可以参考Ciarán Walsh’s blog上的文章) 在下载,解压到 [...]

  162. on 05 Apr 2010 at 5:52 pmStefan Lasiewski

    Note to the author: Some of the newer blog posts contain Spam. Please check into it.

  163. on 11 Apr 2010 at 7:11 amipad converter

    I was helping people (instead of referring them to the original instructions far above)

  164. on 24 Apr 2010 at 6:25 ammandy

    In this model, many faults … which is affected … and you may want to change anything More info

  165. on 25 Apr 2010 at 1:07 amHelior Colorado

    This resolved that error for me:

    Download the updated TerminalColours.bundle for Snow Leopard here:

    Put it in ~/Library/Application Support/SIMBL/Plugins/

    Go to the Utilities folder –> right-click on –> click on “Open in 32-bit mode”

    I am using SIMBL 0.97a, and also using Infinitered’s Terminal Theme found here (optional):

  166. on 05 Jul 2010 at 9:07 pmMareo

    Problem Resolved! Thanks to tips from you guys and some troubleshooting on my own, I have fixed the issue on my SnowLeopard (10.6.4) and would like to post the solution for anyone else with the same problem.

    Requirements: Snow Leopard (I have 10.6.4) Terminal running in 64 bit mode, version 2.1.1 SIMBL (0.9.7) (older version should be fine) Visor 2.2 or TerminalColours.bundle (NOT newest version: will explain shortly)

    Procedure: If you are getting the following error message “Terminal 2.1.1 (v273) has not been tested with the plugin TerminalColours (null) (v1.0). As a precaution…”, and you can’t get rid of it by removing TerminalColours.bundle, then you must completely remove SIMBL and re-install it. This includes the simbl.osax file. Before removing SIMBL, store any .bundle files you might have currently installed temporarily on your desktop. Delete the TerminalColours.bundle. They are located at ~/Library/Application Support/SIMBL.

    The files you must remove are:

    1. /Library/ScriptingAdditions/simbl.osax
    2. /Library/Application Support/SIMBL
    3. ~/Library/Application Support/SIMBL

    Now re-intall SIMBL ( and the error message should be GONE. If not, you didn’t completely uninstall SIMBL.

    Now you should install Visor 2.2 ( or if you don’t want visor, just the TerminalColours.bundle which DOESN’T cause the error message ( That said, I really really recommend Visor. Even if you don’t want the dropdown, you don’t have to enable this feature in Visor. Also, I have tested this method using Visor on two computers and it works.

    If you decide to use TerminalColours.bundle, you need to right click on the bundle in finder, and click “Show Package Contents…”, open the “Info.plist” file and change the MaxBundleVersion to 273, and CFBundleIdentifier to sh.ciaranwal.terminal-colours, or just see Ted Naleid’s post above.

    The next step is to create a text file called .bash_profile which has the following content:

    colorize the Terminal

    export GREP_OPTIONS=’–color=auto’ export CLICOLOR=1;

    save the file in your home directory (~)

    Open Terminal and it should be working.

    If you are annoyed by the “window blinking” issue when Terminal Opens (caused by Visor), i highly recommend adding Terminal to your login items and checking the “Hide” box.

  167. on 13 Jul 2010 at 11:56 pmMarcio Toledo

    Terminal 2.1.1 (v273) has not been tested with the plugin TerminalColours (null) (v1.0). As a precaution, it has not been loaded. Please contact the plugin developer for further information.


  168. [...] want good, configurable colors in my shell. Fortunately, Visor takes care of this one by including TerminalColours as part of the package, so you get this one “for [...]

  169. on 24 Aug 2010 at 5:40 amAC

    Seconding Marcio Toledo’s (post 169) response. Can you fix this? I miss your plugin. :[

  170. on 10 Sep 2010 at 2:27 pmmjp

    Thirding post 169… I’ve never used TerminalColours before but all roads on the internet lead to this page for people looking to have decent terminal coloring.

  171. [...] de instalar o SIMBL, baixe o bundle TerminalColours. Copie o arquivo TerminalColours.bundle para /Library/Application Support/SIMBL/Plugins/. Agora, [...]

  172. on 12 Sep 2010 at 9:31 pmMarcus

    Post 169-173 says it all !!! What chance an update?

  173. on 12 Sep 2010 at 9:56 pmMarcus

    Ok after reading a bit higher up and fixes for other pre273 releases it seems to be working with the manual one work around :) Note to other users…the reference to “CFBundleIdentifier” is called “Bundle identifier” if you are using the plist editor rather than the xml directly

  174. on 16 Sep 2010 at 2:50 pmMattias

    Uhm, isn’t this already built in, or am I completely high? Because I can use colours without installing this. =)

    I’m using Terminal 2.0.2 in OSX 10.5.8.

  175. on 03 Oct 2010 at 7:45 pmJohn

    So, I had some trouble, but got it to work finally. All the answers are in the comments, but hard to find. The two tips I needed were:

    1) comment 168, where I you change the max version in the info.plist. This gets rid of the plugin disabled because it’s not tested with this version error when you start up.

    2) comment 67, you make changes to the theme, export them, delete the on you were editing, and import them. I couldn’t get changes to pick up without this.


  176. on 11 Oct 2010 at 3:13 amneil

    got it to work on leopard also – thanks John – without visor installed the more button would not appear – with it, works a treat

Fork me on GitHub