Call for testing: Aubergine-love for Server folks!

Dustin Kirkland kirkland at
Sun Mar 20 23:10:14 UTC 2011

On Fri, Mar 18, 2011 at 4:48 PM, Charlie Kravetz
<cjk at> wrote:
> On Fri, 18 Mar 2011 13:45:35 -0500
> Dustin Kirkland <kirkland at> wrote:
>> On Fri, Mar 18, 2011 at 10:50 AM, Loïc Minier <loic.minier at> wrote:
>> > On Thu, Mar 17, 2011, Dustin Kirkland wrote:
>> >> After upgrading your local system's kbd and console-setup packages,
>> >> you should now have a crisp, new, clean color scheme in your tty.
>> >> There should be no affect whatsoever in [X, Gnome, KDE, XFCE,
>> >> gnome-terminal, konsole] or even SSH sessions to your server.
>> >
>> >  Like Bryce, I'm pleased that the stress on my eyes is likely to reduce
>> >  with these changes!  And like Timo, I think grey vs white isn't
>> >  obvious.
>> Hi Loic,
>> Thanks for the feedback.  I'll note that to Marcus and see if we can
>> find a slightly better grey.
>> >  I've been poking gnome-terminal colors often to try to improve this
>> >  myself; is there a plan to provide similar colors by default in
>> >  xterm/gnome-terminal/others?
>> That I'm not sure of.  But I, too, really like the idea!  I CC'd
>> Ivanka and Marcus on this response.  Perhaps they can tell us if they
>> have plans, or would consider using this palette or designing another
>> for xterm/gnome-terminal...  Ivanka?
>> Thanks,
> I think it is fantastic that colors are being corrected for Ubuntu.
> Unfortunately, changes made to Ubuntu seem to affect Kubuntu and
> Xubuntu also. How do we get the colors to our own pallette?

Hi Charlie,

This should be relatively straightforward for Xubuntu and others to
configure.  You could have a xubuntu-themes or some other package use
the update-alternatives simple install configurations at a higher
priority than the Ubuntu ones (which are set to priority 50, so
priority 60 should do it).

You'll need to use update-alternatives to change the targets pointed
to by two links:
 1) /etc/vtrgb
 2) /etc/newt/palette

See for documentation.

The first file, /etc/vtrgb, defines the 16 colors which are used by
the Linux virtual terminal consoles.  The new contents of that file


The first line are 16 red values, the second line are 16 green values,
and the third line are 16 blue values.  If you want to change these,
have a look at to
see the order of the colors.  I'll quote you the order here, for
 * black, red, green, brown/yellow, blue, magenta, cyan, gray, dark
gray, bright red, bright green, bright yellow, bright blue, bright
magenta, bright cyan, white

The format is a little arcane.  Sorry about that.  But it's set to
mirror the Kernel's sysfs values:
 $ cat /sys/module/vt/parameters/default_{red,grn,blu}

If you want to revert to the original vga colors, you should have some
package, such as a *-themes call this in its postinst:
 update-alternatives --install /etc/vtrgb vtrgb /etc/console-setup/vtrgb.vga 60

As of a few minutes ago, the console-setup package now installs
/etc/console-setup/vtrgb.vga, for your easy reference and

Note that "/etc/console-setup/vtrgb.vga" could instead be your own
values, perhaps set in /etc/console-setup/vtrgb.xubuntu or the like.
And note that the priority of 60 is higher than the priority of 50,
which is what the vtrgb.ubuntu is installed at.

Also, note that any individual system administrator could also run the
above command to revert back to the legacy vga colors!

Secondly, you may want to modify or revert the newt palette (which is
what ncurses based systems such as debconf use for their coloring).
This is now configured in the file /etc/newt/palette.  This is a
comma-separated, no-white-space list of color values.  There are
exactly 44 colors.  The order and syntax are very, very important!  It
needs to match the struct newtColors, in newt's newt.h header.  Again,
for completeness, the order is:
struct newtColors {
    char * rootFg, * rootBg;
    char * borderFg, * borderBg;
    char * windowFg, * windowBg;
    char * shadowFg, * shadowBg;
    char * titleFg, * titleBg;
    char * buttonFg, * buttonBg;
    char * actButtonFg, * actButtonBg;
    char * checkboxFg, * checkboxBg;
    char * actCheckboxFg, * actCheckboxBg;
    char * entryFg, * entryBg;
    char * labelFg, * labelBg;
    char * listboxFg, * listboxBg;
    char * actListboxFg, * actListboxBg;
    char * textboxFg, * textboxBg;
    char * actTextboxFg, * actTextboxBg;
    char * helpLineFg, * helpLineBg;
    char * rootTextFg, * rootTextBg;
    char * emptyScale, * fullScale;
    char * disabledEntryFg, * disabledEntryBg;
    char * compactButtonFg, * compactButtonBg;
    char * actSelListboxFg, * actSelListboxBg;
    char * selListboxFg, * selListboxBg;

Alternatively, you might just want the original values.  In which
case, you can simply add in your -themes package (or again, a sysadmin
could just run):
 update-alternatives --install /etc/newt/palette newt-palette
/etc/newt/palette.original 60


As for building your alternate CDs, the actual system or process that
builds your CDs will need to have the newt-palette alternative that
you want.  I don't know how your alternate ISOs are built, but I think
it should be as simple as calling the update-alternatives command
above in your scripts that generate ISOs.

Hopefully that helps you and other downstreams of Ubuntu!


Dustin Kirkland
Ubuntu Core Developer

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