Tango Color Scheme for XFCE Terminal

At work I run XFCE; at home I run Ubuntu. Yesterday I noticed that the default Ubuntu color scheme for Gnome Terminal was really nice — called the “Tango” palette — and wished I could have the same at work. I already run the Tango icon theme, so it’d fit in nicely.

Turns out, the default XFCE terminal supports color schemes, too; I just had to stuff the correct color values in. I searched around a little bit, but couldn’t find anyone’s config to steal, so I copied and pasted the values in — one by one. To save you the same pain, open up ~/.config/Terminal/terminalrc, find the lines that all start with Color, and replace them with:


Save the file, and revel in your new colors!

Tango Color Theme for XFCE Terminal

23 Comments so far

  1. Matt on February 2nd, 2009

    I was scrolling through this thinking, “This type of post really needs a screenshot.” You kept me in suspense, but there it is. (Maybe I just need a bigger monitor.)

    This looks a bit like Debian’s color schemes, no? I’m surprised it’s Ubuntu that looks good — no drag orange? 😉

  2. Yaro on March 14th, 2009

    “At work I run XFCE; at home I run Ubuntu.”

    Um…. you ARE aware that Ubuntu is a distribution… while XFCE is a desktop environment, two completely different things. Here, let me qualify this for you a bit better:

    Ubuntu is like Fedora or Arch.

    XFCE is like GNOME or KDE.

    Get where I am coming from?

  3. andrew on March 19th, 2009

    Yes, they are two different things. That doesn’t change the fact that I run XFCE at work and Ubuntu at home, because I do. I also have a desk at work and a faucet at home.

  4. Stephen Blum on April 12th, 2009

    Thank you for syncing the tango color pallet. I’ve done it once before and it was tedious.

  5. carson on May 22nd, 2009

    Yaro is right, andrew, and your faucet and desk analogy doesn’t make sense either. You confused the purpose of XFCE (a particular desktop environment) with Ubuntu (an entire linux distribution). A similar remark might be, “At work I run Firefox; [but] at home I use OS X.” It’s a valid sentence, and it may be true, but it doesn’t form any kind of point. The proper thing to say to Yaro is, “Oh! Silly me. Thanks for the pointing that out.”

  6. andrew on May 23rd, 2009

    I don’t use Mac OS X at home.

  7. tejas on June 30th, 2009

    how did you figure out exactly what i needed? 🙂 thanks!

  8. andrew on July 30th, 2009

    tejas: Glad I could help!

  9. Vaer on August 6th, 2009

    Andrew, that may be the case, but I like cake!

  10. MkFly on May 29th, 2010

    I know this is rather late, but …

    carson, the proper thing to say to Andrew is, “Hey! Thanks for taking the time to set us up with a Tango palette for the Xfce terminal!”

    Anyway, it makes sense — the Xfce terminal doesn’t come with any custom palette’s (that I’m aware of), and I don’t think vanilla GNOME sets Tango by default on gnome-terminal, but GNOME in Ubuntu does. And if you’re not running GNOME in Ubuntu, then you really shouldn’t be running Ubuntu at all.

    Thank you, Andrew, the work is appreciated. I once manually did the same for Windows: a Tango palette for CMD, PowerShell and Cygwin. A real pain.

  11. andrew on June 25th, 2010

    MkFly: Thanks! I hope it comes in handy.

  12. foo on October 15th, 2010

    The nerd pedant brigade strikes again. This kind of thing is why I changed careers.

  13. Goudini on December 10th, 2010

    Thanks, it looks good!

  14. insa on May 21st, 2011

    Thanks a lot, a really helpful post. i was a little bit disappointed when i switched from gnome-term to xfce4-term, that there is no gui palette config. but i guess this is just one reason why xfce is “lightweight”


  15. Ron on September 6th, 2011

    These are great colors, and a nifty tip to anyone ( such as myself ) who has used the profile preference options to change their colors and wishes to quickly switch between schemes without having to do it manually.

    The location of the color theme is very helpful. Most people ( including myself ) always forget there is a config somewhere that makes things easier, even if you didn’t create it yourself.

    Thanks a bunch, and I just want people to know that I also have a faucet at home. I have a steering wheel at work, though.

    Keep on keeping on, and love the website.

  16. Scott H.for on August 23rd, 2012

    Thanks for this! The default colors were terrible and without a unified theme picker I was having a heck of a time getting good colors together. Only change I made was making the background pure black instead of dark gray

  17. xfceswitcher on January 22nd, 2013

    Thanks for this tip.

    Enjoying XFCE even more…

  18. Michael Longval on March 11th, 2013

    Thanks for this. Helps a great deal.

  19. include on October 30th, 2013

    I have to edit the file ~/.config/xfce4/terminal/terminalrc

  20. G on November 9th, 2013

    I tried to use it, but somehow it doesn’t appear properly. Words are all white even login@host which should be greenish and ~$ which should be blue.
    I think the problem is that tput colors return 8 and not 256. Exporting TERM=xterm-256color changes nothing. Adding it to my .bashrc didn’t solves the problem. Setting Emulation mode in Settings->Advanced to xterm-256color results in *** VTE ***: Failed to load terminal capabilities from ‘/etc/termcap’ which is ok as there is no such folder and AFAIK Debian uses terminfo.
    I restarted the terminal after every change so it cannot be the problem.
    I am using xfce4-terminal 0.6.2-3.
    Any idea?

  21. andrew on January 9th, 2014

    G: I’m using version 0.4.8 (the latest in Gentoo), so I’m not sure if something’s changed in the newer version(s). Out of curiosity, which distribution are you running?

  22. ck on August 29th, 2014


    I have the same problem as G with terminal “xfce4-terminal 0.6.3”.
    Running a Xubuntu 14.04 64Bit.

    Any Solution?

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