Disabling Colors on Unix

Default vendor colors on Unix system are horrid, near or beyond unreadable by default—dark blue on black, for example. Given the variety and number of computer systems I interact with, I disable color highlighting by default. A quick method is to use a terminal that lacks color support:

$ TERM=vt220 finch

As this spares the trouble of finding the application-specific color configuration knobs, for example /set colors off in irssi. Vendors such as RedHat pollute the default shell configuration with colorized ls; extirpate this by removing the /etc/profile.d/color* files.

vim tips includes configuration for turning off syntax highlighting and other annoyances some vendors enable by default.