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179 Color Schemes For Your Gtk-Based Linux Terminal (Gnome Terminal, Tilix, Xfce Terminal, More)

Linux terminal color schemes

Gogh is a set of Bash scripts that makes it easy to change the terminal color scheme on Linux and macOS. It currently offers 179 terminal color schemes (even though its website only lists 168 with previews), and it supports Gtk-based terminals like Gnome Terminal, Xfce Terminal, Mate Terminal, Pantheon Terminal, Tilix and Guake on Linux, and iTerm2 on Mac.

You can view most of the color schemes on the Gogh website.

This article will show you how to install and apply new terminal color schemes using Gogh, with the particularities this involves for each terminal application supported by Gogh (including workarounds, which are required in some cases).

Gogh installation and usage with each terminal it supports on Linux


The Gogh color scheme installation has some particularities with each terminal it supports. I tested it with the terminal it supports on Linux, but only on Ubuntu (including Xubuntu and Ubuntu Mate), Debian 10, and Elementary OS 5.0 Juno.

There might be even more particularities when using Gogh on other Linux distributions, but as you can imagine, I can't test all possible combinations, and I've already spent half a day trying it on various Ubuntu (and flavors) versions, Debian and Elementary OS, so my instructions target these, along with other Debian or Ubuntu based Linux distributions, including Linux Mint, Pop!_OS, and so on.

Gogh should work on other Linux distributions as well, but I did not try it.

Before trying to use Gogh, you'll need to install dconf-cli, uuid-runtime, and optionally wget (if you wish to use it as it's mentioned on the Gogh website). Install these on Debian, Ubuntu, and any Linux distribution based on Debian or Ubuntu using:

sudo apt install dconf-cli uuid-runtime wget

Please read the Gogh particularities I encountered, for the terminal emulator you're using, which is further down in this article! Only then install new color schemes using Gogh.

Gogh terminal color scheme installer

The official way of using Gogh on Linux is the following:

bash -c  "$(wget -qO- https://git.io/vQgMr)"

And on Mac:

bash -c  "$(curl -sLo- https://git.io/vQgMr)"

This lists all available terminal color schemes in Gogh, and asks you to enter the number of the theme you wish to install. It also asks if you wish to apply it in some cases.

But using Gogh this way has some security concerns. You can check the script code today, but what if it changes tomorrow and it then contains some malicious code (e.g. if the repository is hacked)? This is why I prefer to clone the Gogh repository and use the script for a particular theme, this way checking the script code being a lot easier. This can be done by cloning the Gogh GitHub repository:

git clone https://github.com/Mayccoll/Gogh

And then apply a terminal color scheme, let's say Zenburn, by going to the Gogh themes/ folder and running the zenburn.sh script:

cd Gogh/themes
./zenburn.sh #or whatever color scheme you want to use

Use whatever method suits you.

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Below you can read my finds in using Gogh with the Linux terminal emulators it supports (Gnome Terminal, Xfce Terminal, Mate Terminal, Pantheon Terminal, Tilix and Guake), with some very important notes:

  • Gnome Terminal

Tested using Gnome Terminal 3.28.2 on Ubuntu 18.04, Gnome Terminal 3.32.1 on Ubuntu 19.04, and Gnome Terminal 3.30.2 on Debian 10.

Before using Gogh, you'll need to create a new Gnome Terminal profile, or else you'll get an error. From the Gnome Terminal Preferences, click the + button next to Profiles, enter a new profile name and click Create. After installing a new color scheme (which is added as a new profile for Gnome Terminal) using Gogh, you can delete this profile.

Since the color scheme is installed as a new profile by Gogh in Gnome Terminal's case, you can change it temporarily by right clicking inside the terminal window and choosing the new profile from there. To make it permanent, open the Gnome Terminal Preferences and make the profile you want to use (which should have the name of the color scheme) default.

  • Tilix

Tested using Tilix 1.7.7 on Ubuntu 18.04, and Tilix 1.9.3 on Ubuntu 19.04.

In the case of Tilix, Gogh will ask to use a color scheme instead of a profile. Enter y when asked, to accept this. Gogh will also prompt you to apply the new color profile but in my case that didn't work. Instead, to apply the new color scheme, open the Tilix Preferences, select the Default profile, and from the Color tab choose the color scheme you installed using Gogh. You may also install the color scheme as a new profile if you wish.

  • Xfce Terminal

Tested with Xfce4 Terminal 0.8.7.4 on Xubuntu 18.04 and Debian 10.

I got an error trying to use Gogh to install new color schemes for Xfce Terminal: ERROR: config file not present or not writeable!.

Looking at the Gogh apply-colors.sh code, it looks like the script requires having an ~/.local/share/xfce4/terminal/colorschemes folder and an ~/.config/xfce4/terminal/terminalrc file, so I created those and Gogh worked.

Do note that this completely resets the Xfce Terminal default configuration, as it's set by you or the Linux distribution you're using (Xubuntu in the case of my testing, since Debian doesn't customize this), and it can be reverted by deleting them. So for example on Xubuntu, the font was changed from DejaVu Sans Mono Book 9 to Monospace Regular 12, etc.

You can create these using:

mkdir -p ~/.local/share/xfce4/terminal/colorschemes
mkdir -p ~/.config/xfce4/terminal/
touch ~/.config/xfce4/terminal/terminalrc

After this, close all Xfce Terminal instances, re-open it, and use Gogh to install a new color scheme.

In Xfce Terminal's case, Gogh asks if it should apply the newly installed color scheme, but that did not work for me. Instead, to change the color scheme, go to the Xfce Terminal Preferences, on the Colors tab, and change the preset from the Presets option available at the bottom of the window. Edit: after installing Xfce Terminal on Ubuntu 19.04 (to take the screenshot you see at the top of the article), Gogh was able to apply the new color scheme automatically, even though it's the same version of Xfce Terminal as in Xubuntu 18.04. In any case, I'll leave this here so those for which the color scheme doesn't change automatically have an alternative.

  • Guake

Tested using Guake 3.0.5 on Ubuntu 18.04, and Guake 3.6.3 on Ubuntu 19.04 (but it's worth noting that Guake 3.6.3 already has most of the color schemes supported by Gogh built-in).

In the case of Guake, Gogh was able to install and apply the new color scheme (without prompting) without issues. However, the new color scheme was applied (you can change the color scheme from the Guake Preferences -> Appearance -> Palette) as a custom scheme, so in case you install multiple color schemes using Gogh, you won't be able to switch between them from the Guake Preferences, as there can only be one custom color scheme.

  • Mate Terminal

Tested on Ubuntu Mate 18.04.

On a fresh Ubuntu Mate 18.04 installation, the first time trying to use Gogh results in an error saying that dconf dir must not contain two consecutive slashes. This only happens the first time though (this error no longer shows up on subsequent runs).

It should also be noted that you need to restart Mate Terminal after installing color schemes with Gogh, or else the profile names will not be shown correctly in the profiles list.

Since the color scheme is installed as a new profile by Gogh for Mate Terminal, you can change it temporarily by right clicking inside the terminal window and choosing the new profile from there. To make it permanent, you'll need to go to Edit -> Profiles and change Profile used when launching a new terminal to the profile containing the name of the color scheme you want to use by default.

  • Pantheon Terminal

Tested on Elementary OS 5.0 Juno.

Gogh works out of the box with Pantheon Terminal on Elementary OS 5.0 Juno. It automatically (without prompting) changes the terminal color scheme to the theme you choose from the Gogh prompt.