I'm using airline with its default theme (relying from my theme gruvbox).

I use :AirlineTheme base16 while I have already opened my vim to change my airline theme to base16.

But I want to change the default airline theme permanently, when I set

AirlineTheme base16
call AirlineTheme base16
set AirlineTheme base16
  • AirlineTheme base16 -- Gives no failure message but removes all airline themes.
  • call AirlineTheme base16 -- Gives error "Missing parentheses. I also tried it as call AirlineTheme base16(). Still same error.
  • set AirlineTheme base16 -- This says unknown option AirlineTheme

How can I set it?

  • "It fails" is not a very detailed problem description... The second and third for (call ...AirlineTheme and set AirlineTheme) are invalid, so what error do you get when you try the first one? Feb 23, 2016 at 2:04
  • 1
    Have you installed the base16 theme? See this FAQ entry.
    – muru
    Feb 23, 2016 at 2:23

2 Answers 2


Put the following in your .vimrc:

let g:airline_theme='base16'

You'll also need to install the vim-airline/vim-airline-themes plugin.


I think now you can just do

:AirlineTheme base16

to temporarily set the theme.

Make sure to have Airline and AirlineThemes installed

  • 3
    Welcome to vi.stackexchange. This was already mentioned in the question.
    – Ralf
    Jan 8, 2019 at 18:54

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