Enabling 256 Colors in tmux

It turns out that tmux supports 256 colors if you read the docs

I've been using ssh and tmux for a while to do work on my home computer when I'm away from it1. I was annoyed that tmux didn't support very many colors, but it didn't bother me that much because I don't do that much in my remote ssh sessions that needed more colors. But then I read some documentation that said that tmux supports 256 colors, and even though I knew I didn't need it, I knew I had to have it.

It turns out that all you need to do is to set your TERM within tmux to screen-256color, and the easiest way to do that is to edit your ~.tmux.conf and add the following line:

set -g default-terminal "screen-256color"

And that's it. It sometimes pays to read the documentation, but that also implies that you know what you're looking for, which is kind of a chicken and egg problem with documentation, but that's another rant for another day.


  1. The definition of 'work' depends on what time of day is is

Read more articles ยท Go back to the homepage