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My immediate itch is the status line in apt upgrade / apt update that is a tone of yellow — as I use a light background it is almost unreadable...

I tried the apt man page but /colou?r give no matches.

I tried Google but what I found is something on StackExchange that gave a reply for a specific use case, different from mine, and no reference resource.

I'd like also a specific answer scratching my issue above, but what I'd like best is a pointer to some (un)official doc that explain the colors in apt and how to modify each default.

tx in advance

ps apt as the command line utility — the packaging infrastructure of Debian-like distros is Apt.

  • Your best bet here is to ask the apt maintainers themselves. They hang out on OFTC. I think the channel is #debian-apt. If I get around to it, I might ask them myself. If there is an option to do this, isn't undocumented. It's possible it is hardwired, but I agree, it should be configurable. So if it is hardwired, I recommend filing a wishlist bug on the Debian BTS. – Faheem Mitha Sep 18 '17 at 10:01
  • Just posted a comment on #debian-apt. If they have an answer, I'll update the question. – Faheem Mitha Sep 18 '17 at 10:15
  • @FaheemMitha I appreciate the interest that you have put in my question, thanks a lot. If something comes out of the apt chat, please post an answer. ciao – gboffi Sep 18 '17 at 14:04
  • I have to say that apt-get outputs a perfectly intelligible status line so a solution is to forget apt and keep using apt-get... – gboffi Sep 18 '17 at 14:09
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Here is a partial answer, courtesy of David Kalnischkies of APT, on OFTC's #debian-apt.

apt update -o APT::Color::Yellow="$(printf '\e[36m')"

I think that color is cyan. For other colors, see https://github.com/shiena/ansicolor/blob/master/README.md

And to add that permanently to APT's config, you can do (for example):

printf "APT::Color::Yellow \"\e[36m\";\n" >> /etc/apt/apt.conf

Which will add what looks like the following (if you are reading the file using less) to /etc/apt/apt.conf:

APT::Color::Yellow "ESC[36m";

Thanks to @sebasth for coming up with that printf incantation.

  • Oh my... I have to change a named color and I have to insert a literal escape into a configuration file... but this is the apt developers, your answer is perfect for me. tx a lot. - - - - - - ps yellow is red :-) – gboffi Sep 18 '17 at 20:59
  • @gboffi: Not the perfect answer, agreed. – Faheem Mitha Sep 18 '17 at 21:24
  • no, your answer is good, it's apt that has a few problems and one has to jump through hoops to fix them... – gboffi Sep 18 '17 at 21:56
  • @gboffi David didn't seem particularly interested in doing anything with this, so I imagine the possibility of a config option is remote. But one could still file a wishlist bug. – Faheem Mitha Sep 18 '17 at 21:58
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Each terminal emulator should have some color scheme editor.

Just set colors, which are unacceptable, to better one.

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You can customize apt by editing the file /etc/apt/apt.conf

Examples are provided in /usr/share/doc/apt/examples/configure-index.gz

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    I'm happy with progress bar's color. I'd like to change the status line. — I'll have a look at /usr/share/doc/apt/examples/configure-index.gz – gboffi Sep 17 '17 at 19:04
  • If one googles apt change color the 1st result is askubuntu.com/a/445246 that contains Dpkg::Progress-Fancy::Progress-Bg "%1b[40m"; but I already knew that answer when I posted my question: that answer is not what I need. – gboffi Sep 17 '17 at 19:49

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