Base16 color schemes (xterm and Vim)

Base16 is a set of color schemes, available for various applications. I like that it makes it possible to have the same color scheme in my terminals (xterm) and in Vim and to switch color scheme very easily (by issuing a single command in the terminal like base16_classic-dark).

I just followed the instructions in Scott Pierce’s Base16 Shell blog post.

I also have this line in my ~/.Xresources:

XTerm*termName: xterm-256color

My favorite Base16 schemes are:

  • base16_pico
  • base16_atelier-forest
  • base16_cupertino
  • base16_pop

You can see the list of the base16 schemes with this command:

alias | grep "^alias base16_"|sed "s/=.\+$//"|sed "s/^.\+ //"

The following command is useful to choose a scheme. It traverses the list of schemes and switches every 3 seconds:

for SCHEME in $(alias \
        | grep ^alias\ base16_|sed 's/=.\+$//'|sed "s/^.\+ //"|sed s/_/-/); \
        do \
    _base16 ~/.config/base16-shell/scripts/$ ${SCHEME#base16-}; \
    echo $SCHEME|sed s/-/_/; \
    sleep 3; \

As far as base16-vim is concerned, if it’s the only color plugin you want installed and you don’t use any plugin manager like Pathogen or Vundle, you may install it with the following commands:

cd ~/.vim
git clone
ln -s base16-vim/colors colors