I'm using emacs inside a mintty (configured to say it's xterm-256color) terminal on cygwin. list-colors-display works fine. and colors are displayed in dired listings etc. Now I set the color for git branch current branch to be yellow reverse. However, neither shell nor eshell windows display the correct color; instead, the current branch is shown in default color. In an ansi-term window, or Outside of emacs, inside the same terminal, it displays as it should.

I have this in my .emacs:

(add-hook 'eshell-preoutput-filter-functions  'ansi-color-apply)

Any way to get these colors to display inside the shell or eshell windows?

  • 1
    I cannot reproduce this in eshell with a graphical Emacs, having set git config --global color.ui always running git diff. Could you provide more detailed steps?
    – user2005
    Feb 24, 2015 at 16:33
  • does my answer below help you or is anything about it unclear?
    – user2005
    Oct 9, 2015 at 13:55

1 Answer 1


Eshell and shell-mode both use ansi-color.el to turn ansi color codes into faces. ansi-color.el supports the following faces:

Parameter  Description        Face used by default
  0        default            default
  1        bold               bold
  2        faint              default
  3        italic             italic
  4        underlined         underline
  5        slowly blinking    success
  6        rapidly blinking   warning
  7        negative image     error

"negative image" is "reverse" and it is mapped to the error face. When I configure my repository such...

        ui = always
[color "branch"]
        current = yellow reverse

...and run git branch I see my local branches, and the current branch is rendered in bold yellow. When I put point onto the yellow text and run describe-face I see that it is in fact rendered with the error face.

You can customise ansi-color-faces-vector to assign a different face other than error to "negative image"/"reverse".

You do not need (add-hook 'eshell-preoutput-filter-functions 'ansi-color-apply) to use ansi colors in eshell.

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