I just installed Linux Mint 18.3 and to my surprise colors in vim changed!

comparison screenshot

Vim in the terminal on the left has the color scheme I've always seen and got used to. Vim in the terminal on the right has the new colors. On the left, I'm ssh'ed into a different machine. On the right is my new Mint.

Both windows are of the same terminal emulator, with the same profile settings, so the issue is not with my color scheme.

How can I get the normal colors back?

Update: It looks like the old colors flash for a tenth of a second when I open a file, but then the colors are reverted to new. As I wrote in the comments, in both cases, :colorscheme returns default.

  • 2
    What does :colorscheme schow? Commented Dec 18, 2017 at 8:09
  • Use :verbose highlight normal to find the script that last set the "normal" highlight group. Run echo synIDattr(synID(line("."),col("."),1),"name") to find a highlight group in effect at the cursor position. Combining them you can find out which script set the colors at the cursor position: exe "verb hi " . synIDattr(synID(line("."),col("."),1),"name").
    – jjaderberg
    Commented Dec 18, 2017 at 10:42
  • @Carpetsmoker :colorscheme says default for both.
    – SU3
    Commented Dec 19, 2017 at 6:02
  • @jjaderberg In both cases, :verbose highlight normal says E411: highlight group not found: normal, :echo synIDattr(synID(line("."),col("."),1),"name") doesn't print anything.
    – SU3
    Commented Dec 19, 2017 at 6:05

2 Answers 2


I'm not sure what you mean by "profile settings", but I'm assuming you mean terminal profiles, which don't affect vim (much).

Try opening your .vimrc. It should be in your home directory, named that. Inside the .vimrc, you can set different settings to load every time you open vim, such as colorschemes. If you want to always use the default one, just add colorscheme default into the file.

However, neither of the images you have look like the default scheme to me. Your best bet is to check the colorscheme of the terminal you like with :colorscheme (with vim open, of course) and add that to your newer terminal's vimrc. You may also need to copy the colorscheme file from /usr/share/vim/colors/, into the new terminal. You may need to poke around a bit in /usr/share/vim first, it's been a while since I've installed Mint. After the scheme is copied over, set the scheme you want with colorscheme name_of_scheme_you_desire in your vimrc, and that's it.

  • Yes, I meant terminal profiles.
    – SU3
    Commented Dec 19, 2017 at 6:38
  • Explicitly stating :colorscheme default appears to fix the issue.
    – SU3
    Commented Dec 19, 2017 at 6:43
  • @SU3 that indeed fixes the issue, but only for the current instance of vim. If you relaunch vim, it will go back to the setting in the vimrc, which may not be default. I'm glad you figured it out!
    – user11389
    Commented Dec 19, 2017 at 17:00

They have changed the default colorscheme in new versions of vim (and neovim). The old default colorscheme is the one named peachpuff and you can use it in the new vim with :colorscheme peachpuff

If you want it as default, you should put that command on your user configuration file. For example: echo "colorscheme peachpuff" >> ~/.vimrc

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.