Call for testing: Aubergine-love for Server folks!

Scott Kitterman ubuntu at
Fri Mar 18 18:54:33 UTC 2011

On Thursday, March 17, 2011 10:01:51 pm Dustin Kirkland wrote:
> Howdy Ubuntu-devel and Ubuntu-server,
> We just uploaded a couple of small patches a week ahead of
> UserInterfaceFreeze to five packages that affect the console tty and
> vt interface.  We're hoping you can help test this on your hardware
> and let us know if you find any adverse affects (please subscribe me
> to the bug reports, if you do!) :-)
> The end goals were (Bug #730672):
>  1) Improve the virtual terminal color palette
>  2) Modernize the visual experience on Ubuntu servers
> To solve (1), we wrote a small C program that you should now find in
> /sbin/setvtrgb.  You can refer to the manpage for the full
> documentation.  It's a handy utility that reads a set of well-formed
> RGB values from file and then uses an ioctl to dynamically apply them
> to all consoles.  This utility is currently provided in the kbd
> package, and I'm working on getting that upstream into Debian.
> The default colors used by the Linux kernel are quite simply the
> traditional 16 VGA colors, which you can find at:
>  *
> While perhaps mathematically symmetric, some of those colors are a
> pretty hard on the eyes.  The Ubuntu Design Team has put quite a bit
> of effort into selecting a distinctive color scheme for the Ubuntu
> Desktop, and they have now carefully selected an 16 color palette for
> server consoles too!
> So the next three pieces of (1) are solved by a series of uploads to:
>  * console-setup -- add a conffile at /etc/vtrgb (so that you can
> customize your own console colors, if you don't like the ones Ubuntu
> provides!), and an upstart job that applies them on boot with
> 'setvtrgb /etc/vtrgb'
>  * rootskel -- call 'setvtrgb /etc/vtrgb' early in the Server and
> Alternate installer for its virtual terminals
>  * bogl -- update the colors in the bterm palette used by
> debian-installer (it happens to hard code them)
> 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.
> However, if you drop to a command prompt with ctrl-alt-F1, you should
> see a nice difference.  Note that if for some reason perhaps you
> prefer the legacy VGA colors, you can revert the change simply with:
>  $ sudo setvtrgb vga
> And if you want to make that permanent, follow with:
>  $ cat /sys/module/vt/parameters/default_{red,grn,blu} | sudo tee
> /etc/vtrgb
> And as soon as the daily cdimage builder picks up the changes to
> rootskel and bogl (within a day or two?), you should see the same
> color improvements in the Natty Server and Alternate installer
> screens.
> Now to address (2), we've made one minor change to the newt library,
> which defines the color scheme for most curses-based utilities -- most
> importantly, debconf and in turn, the debian-installer.  If you've
> ever installed an Ubuntu server, and in staring at the screen thought,
> "That blue sure looks a lot like MS-DOS circa 1988," we're right there
> with you.  So we've swapped that aged "Microsoft blue" out for some
> modern "Ubuntu aubergine"!
> So what does all of this look like?  Here are some screen shots!
>  * On the console
>   * before:
>   * after:
>  * And in the installer
>   * msdos6:
>   * before:
>   * after:
> Spiffy, huh?  Thanks to everyone who help spread some Aubergine-love
> to Ubuntu Server folks!

So now every Ubuntu flavor gets Aubergine even though that's not their color 

How do we over-ride this for Kubuntu (there have been complaints on #kubuntu-
devel today)?

Scott K

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