I'm using Arch-Linux and I'm trying to install something that colors the text in the terminal (xterm), but not necessarily just for xterm. It would be nice to find something for text without initializing the X server.

I've found (after a little search on google) that pacman-color already exists in the AUR, but I haven't managed to extract & install it.

Is there someone that can help me with this problem? I'd like to know the steps for installing pacman-color? If you have other suggestions on how I can change the text color, I would be very happy if you could share the answer!

  • Hm, how can you use xterm at all without the X server? In .Xresources, the most basic color configuration looks something like xterm*background: black, xterm*foreground: green4, etc. (Maybe I didn't understand you?) Commented Oct 16, 2012 at 0:26
  • @Emanuel, yes i know you can't use xterm without initializing X server :) I was also asking if there is a way to color the text in case I don't want to initialize the graphical server. I was changing the text for xterm using the command: xterm -fg yellow -bg black &, that i've added to a script that starts what i need from the system. And, like you mentioned, it can also be changed by modifying the .Xresources file.
    – Andreea
    Commented Oct 16, 2012 at 6:39

2 Answers 2


Pacman-color only colours the output for pacman commands.

To colourize a wide range of terminal output for a variety of programmes, you can use a tool like cope.

Both packages are in the AUR. The Arch Wiki has a good explanation of how to install AUR packages. Essentially, once you have downloaded the tarball (for example, for pacman-color), you run makepkg and then install the built package with pacman -U pacman-colour.pkg.tar.xz.

  • So, i've instaled pacman-color and it's ok... but you suggested 'cope' and this sounded better than pacman-color so i've tried to install it and after a lot of dependencies that i had to install separately i've managed to install it but i'm stuck with configuring the path, i simply can't make it work... could you be kind to tell me if you have any ideea what i could do?
    – Andreea
    Commented Oct 15, 2012 at 14:33
  • Follow the advice in the README and add the path to your shell file (eg., bashrc). It should look something like: PATH=/usr/share/perl5/vendor_perl/auto/share/dist/Cope:$PATH
    – jasonwryan
    Commented Oct 15, 2012 at 16:49

To setup yaourt, first add an unofficial repository archlinuxfr to your /etc/pacman.conf,

Server = http://repo.archlinux.fr/$arch

Now do a pacman -Syu yaourt to install yaourt, when finished, (You may choose to comment these two lines out when yaourt is installed)

Use yaourt -S pacman-color to setup pacman-color, during installation steps, you will be prompt for modifying PKGBUILD and pacman-color.install files, just say N, and Continue to build it, finally you'll got something like this,

Press Enter to install the package.

enter image description here

  • The OP would have to install yaourt from AUR first to do that... :)
    – jasonwryan
    Commented Oct 15, 2012 at 8:10
  • 1
    @jasonwryan I always want to know what OP is short for?
    – daisy
    Commented Oct 15, 2012 at 8:13
  • Original poster :)
    – jasonwryan
    Commented Oct 15, 2012 at 8:14
  • jasonwryan is right, installing from AUR was one of my problems too... @warl0ck Thank you for the command,solves part of my problem!
    – Andreea
    Commented Oct 15, 2012 at 8:25
  • Adding the [archlinuxfr] repo is not a good idea. One, it has a history of broken and outdated packages, and two the OP should learn how to use makepkg if they are going to run Arch. Also, telling someone not to read the PKGBUILD compounds the bad advice.
    – jasonwryan
    Commented Oct 15, 2012 at 8:32

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