7f4c7cfb324692825c899b6b8334a8e67cc1a66c — Adam Price 1 year, 7 months ago 7603eff
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A _posts/2015-06-10-set-vim-colors-in-iterm2.md
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title: set vim colors in iterm2

I have been using [Vim](http://www.vim.org) almost exclusively for 3 years now.
It has become my text editing workhorse for both code and also prose. Vim has
become a joy to use and to continue configuring and tweaking. Many more
paragraphs could be spent explaining the greatness of Vim to you, but I will
refrain. Today we're talking about colors in Vim.

I just recently switched to [iTerm 2](https://www.iterm2.com) from using OS X's
default Terminal.app. Terminal.app met my needs for the most part except its
[inability to handle a long command that spilled into the next
line][term-bug]. I started using Terminal.app back in 2008, and this bug is
still occurring. I decided to check out iTerm 2 after my buddy Og
([@ogmaciel](https://twitter.com/OgMaciel)) suggested it because, "it's
awesome, dude!"

[term-bug]: http://kill-0.com/duplo/2011/03/02/tmux-with-terminal-app-line-wrapping-weirdness/

I'm happy with iTerm 2 so far, but it took me a few to figure out the color
situation. I like a dark background with light text in my terminal, but I
prefer Vim's light-background color palette to its dark-background colors.
This was never an issue in Terminal.app, but it seems that iTerm 2 is setting
some value that Vim interprets causing it to default to `background=dark`.
After poking around Vim's help docs and experimenting with ordering I came upon
the [magic incantation][magic] providing my desired results:

[magic]: https://github.com/komidore64/dotfiles/commit/9ec628e037a5f186711736a668465607a34b8cea

set nocompatible
colorscheme default
set t_Co=256
set background=light

I haven't messed with it a whole lot, but my guess is these settings would go
best near the top of your `~/.vimrc` before you load any plugins or start
changing other colors. For more info on these settings, please see Vim's help
system with `:help nocompatible`, `:help colorscheme`, `:help t_Co`, and `:help
'background'`, respectively.

Now I have iTerm 2 set up just the way I like it, with Vim colors the way I
like them. All quiet on the terminal front. Happy Vimming!