Color Test Your Terminal

📅 April 11, 2017
Are you curious to find out what colors your terminal supports?

The program colortest-python answers this question by displaying colors in a variety of ways.


colortest-python is available for free from the Ubuntu repository. Use Synaptic or the command line to install it.

sudo apt-get install colortest-python

colortest-python in Action

Run colortest-python by itself to see the default results.

Default -b (block) output showing 256 colors in GNOME Terminal.

There are a number of options that customize the output, so make sure to check the man page.

The -x option lists the hexadecimal values of each color, so if you need to look up which color requires which value you can easily check it here.

colortest-python -l shows the long hex values for each color.

The examples above are shown using GNOME Terminal (gnome-terminal). Different terminals might produce different results if they support fewer colors.

Here is xterm running the same three results. xterm only supports 16 colors, so colortest-python only reports 16 colors.

colortest-python with the -c option displays colors as a cube slice, and the -p option adds padding around the colors to make them easier to differentiate.

The -n option lists each color’s escape number in decimal rather than hex with the -x option.

For such a simple program, this is fun to play with because it produces colorful results in an otherwise monochromatic terminal. If you need to determine what value maps to which terminal color for customizing your terminal colors, colortest-python is a handy tool to have.



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