I don't want vim to be affected by my terminal's color scheme.

Is there a way to do this?

In particular, I want my LineNr column to be colored black.

I have seen it is possible because airline manages to do it:

enter image description here

However, my terminal seems to have changed the meanings of black, blue etc.

enter image description here

  • If your $TERM does NOT already contain the string -256color, then it seems like one of your terminal colors is in fact black (because as you point out, you can see it on your screen). You can either check your terminal config to see how the actual black colour is named, or you could just try them all until you find it.
    – Rich
    Nov 4, 2016 at 9:55

1 Answer 1


By using color names like cyan or black or numbers below 16 you are actively telling Vim to use your terminal color scheme.

If you don't want Vim to use your terminal emulator color scheme you will have to:

  1. make sure your $TERM contains the string -256color,
  2. use color numbers from 16 to 255.

For 1, possible values are xterm-256color, screen-256color (in screen and tmux), rxvt-unicode-256color, etc.

For 2, you can use this handy chart for reference.

  • My terminal seems to support even more colors than are on that chart, is there a way I can access those? Nov 4, 2016 at 9:06
  • @theonlygusti See :help 'termguicolors'.
    – Rich
    Nov 4, 2016 at 9:50

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