Recently I've been trying out different terminal color schemes. However, I found out that when I change the background of urxvt to gray30, emacs -nw has completely different syntax coloring.

I've not found this with any other background color, and I can't find any information about why this happens. While I actually quite like these new colors, I'm very confused.


  1. How can I stop this behavior?
  2. Do other people have the same experience?


  • Version: Emacs 26.1
  • Terminal: rxvt-unicode (urxvt) v9.22
  • OS: Void Linux

The relevant part of my .Xdefaults reads:

! Colours:
URxvt.cursorColor: lightblue
! *background: #181818
*background: gray30
*foreground: #bbbbbb

The color changes happen irrespective of my shell, urxvt's foreground and cursor colors, and the font. The ansi-color-name-vector in my init file don't change. No other terminal program changes it's colors, and oddly, the modeline colors don't change either, but I do have a custom mode-line config.

Thanks for any help!

  • it's literally just gray30 or is it lighter colors too? – Dan O Mar 19 '19 at 13:39
  • Literally just gray30 – 11fdriver Mar 20 '19 at 23:31

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