Snow Leopard Terminal Colors

Update: Running through this process for a fresh install of Mountain Lion, and I'm finding this guide very useful. Keep it colourful!

Note: For those of us using Lion, I would recommend getting TotalTerminal, which seems to be a great replacement for the techniques used in this article. If you are getting an annoying error about your old TerminalColor plugin not being compatible, just head over to the SIMBL Project website, download the latest version, and then use the packaged uninstalled.

Snow Leopard Terminal Colors

Step 1. Install SIMBL

Head over to and install the latest version of SIMBL, a nice little program that allows users to hack and patch their existing applications with "bundles." For my latest install, I used The latest version that is now capable of working with 64-bit applications (although it now requires 64-bit bundles).

Once SIMBL has been installed, you need to make the directory that will store all your bundles. The path to this directory should be:

~/Library/Application Support/SIMBL/Plugins/

All your bundle files will be placed in here.

Step 2. Install the Visor Bundle

Install Visor. If you don't know what it is, just install it anyway. Your productivity will dramatically increase. It's an SIMBL bundle for terminal that adds a system wide trigger key (default is apple + backtick) to show and hide terminal.

Step 3. Install the TerminalColors-SL Bundle

Get the fixed TerminalColours-SL bundle that will allow you to use color themes within terminal. This bundle should be dropped into your SIMBL plugins folder (same place as Visor).

Step 4. Install the IR_Blank.terminal Theme

Download the amazing IR_Blank.terminal theme. Just double click to install it.

Step 5. Add and Source Your .bash_profile

Within your root folder (cd ~/) create a file named .bash_profile (unless you already have another bash file). Inside this we can place some basic settings that will affect our terminal. One of these settings is required to get our new colorized theme working. The code for this is:

export CLICOLOR=1;

Once you've added this line you'll need to quit terminal and reopen it. This should be everything you need to see color, and you should be seeing blue directory names when doing simple "ls" commands.

Step 6.

Enjoy a the colourful world of programming.

Step 7. Optional, For GIT Users

Head over to this RailsTips article and drop in the provided code for some nice branch aware terminal goodness. If you're using the latest version of GIT, check the comments which explain how to get things working with 1.6 (small syntax change).

  1. F80c5168b92fe9d49b0668cde3bdd57c

    Gordon Yeong

    10:08 AM on Monday, October 10th, 2011

    Very funky! i love my mac development environment even more now!

  2. 5163fb8760798d98ade97a94eca78f0a


    10:05 AM on Monday, December 10th, 2012

    How do I uninstall it?

  3. 6f2596a99d511b16b3f0fd45f8e07b51


    7:47 PM on Friday, December 14th, 2012

    I constantly spent my half an hour to read this blog's content daily along with a cup of coffee.

  4. Ebc1bac79ede1531dd1271de0afbd67a


    4:28 PM on Sunday, February 17th, 2013

    Thanks a lot for such a nicely written article but alas this link( is broken. Kindly fix it soon.