Terminal styling

It’s been awhile since I last wrote about cosmetic improvements to my terminal configurations. Having already tackled a new, easier-on-the-eye look for my editors on Linux and Windows, I decided it was time to do the same for the terminal.

I spend a huge percentage of my time in terminal consoles. In fact most of my editing usually takes place using vi in a terminal, rather than a gedit or another graphical editor. This is just the nature of the work I do as a system administrator/architect.

On Linux I use the standard Gnome Terminal. For a long time I would simply change the color scheme to white text on a black backgroun in my Profile Preferences. After applying new themes gedit, I decided to parallel those changes in my terminal.

The look of the Gnome Terminal can be changed in the terminal’s Profile Preferences. Font name, size and weight are on the General Tab. Colors are under the … Colors tab.

I overrode the defaults (by unchecking the “Use system font…” and “Use colors from system theme” boxes) for font to DejaVu Sans Mono Bold, 12 point and colors to Gray on black. The result was a much more readable terminal window.

Simon Tatham’s PuTTY is installed on all my Windows boxes for ssh connectivity. I continue to follow the sage advice of Linux packager Dag Wieers by saving all my configuration changes to the Default profile so that they will be picked up by any subsequently created session.

In this instance I was only interested in changing the font and screen coloring as I had with the Gnome Terminal. Unlike the case of my editors, the change didn’t require any kind of elaborate theme.

Going to PuTTY Configuation… Window… Appearance I change the “Font used in the terminal window” to DejaVu Sans Mono, bold, 12-point. Font Quality was set at Clear Type.

Then on to … Window… Colours I changed the following to the settings indicated:

Default Foreground: 192,192,192
Default Bold Foreground: 255,255,255
Default Background: 0,0,0
Default Bold Background: 0,0,0
Cursor Text: 192,192,192
Cursor Color: 192,192,192

The color coding shown above basically give you gray text on a black background, with bold showing as bright white.

After making these changes I highlighted the Default Settings under Session and hit Save.

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About phil

My name is Phil Lembo. In my day job I’m an enterprise IT architect for a leading distribution and services company. The rest of my time I try to maintain a semi-normal family life in the suburbs of Raleigh, NC. E-mail me at philipATlembobrothersDOTcom. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own and not those of my employers, past, present or future (except where I quote others, who will need to accept responsibility for their own rants).