this is my PROMPT

PROMPT='%{$fg[green]%}%n%{$reset_color%}@%{$fg[white]%}%m%{$reset_color%}:%{$fg[yellow]%}%~%{$reset_color%} $(git_super_status)

Yes, the new line is intentional, it looks like this:


My problem is that the white portion is not white, but it stays gray. I've tried this with xterm and urxvt.

XTERM variable is set to xterm-256color for xterm, and to rxvt-unicode-256color for urxvt.
If I use terminator, with TERM set to xterm, the white color is correctly visualized. I've also tried setting TERM=xterm also in the other terminals, but it did not help. Do anyone have an idea of what is happening here?

EDIT I've forgot to tell that using urxvt/xterm and bash, the white color is perfectly visualized. Also I've played a little with escape codes, I can set the variable to white italic, white blinking, white bold but now just plain white.

  • 1
    Whatever the problem is, you should rather set TERM variable, not XTERM.
    – jimmij
    Commented Dec 19, 2014 at 16:31
  • Sorry, a typo, edited the answer.
    – Carlo
    Commented Dec 19, 2014 at 16:32
  • 1
    How about setting white color explicitly: PS1=$'%{\e[37m%}XYZ> %{\e[0m%}'?
    – jimmij
    Commented Dec 19, 2014 at 17:02
  • OK, so try high intensity: PS1=$'%{\e[97m%}XYZ> %{\e[0m%}'. Also run echotc Co in problematic terminal and report the output.
    – jimmij
    Commented Dec 20, 2014 at 14:58

1 Answer 1


you may want the bold white color:

PS1='%F{green}%n%f@%B%F{white}%m%f%b:%F{yellow}%~ $(stuff)%B%F{white}\$%f%b '
  • Thanks, I've already tried that, and it works in fact, but that is not exactly what I want. If I do not find an alternative I will use that eventually.
    – Carlo
    Commented Dec 20, 2014 at 14:08

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