How do I get the Vim syntax highlighting to work in a Unix terminal?

The easiest and simplest way to get Vim syntax highlighting is to use the GUI version of Vim (GVIM). To get syntax highlighting to work in the console/terminal version of Vim, you have to run a terminal emulator (like Xfree86 xterm or rxvt or dtterm) that supports color. Note that if a terminal emulator supports changing the background and foreground colors, that does not mean that it also supports ANSI escape sequences for changing the color. You can download the latest version of Xfree86 xterm from You can download the latest version of rxvt from You have to install the terminfo/termcap file that supports colors for the terminal emulator. Also, set the TERM environment variable to the correct name of the term that supports colors. You can use the colortest.vim script supplied with the Vim runtime package to test the color setup. To use this script, follow these steps:

    :e $VIMRUNTIME/syntax/colortest.vim

    :source %

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