Help: color

Colorizing Outputs

Mercurial colorizes output from several commands.

For example, the diff command shows additions in green and deletions in red, while the status command shows modified files in magenta. Many other commands have analogous colors. It is possible to customize these colors.

To enable color (default) whenever possible use:

color = yes

To disable color use:

color = no

See 'hg help config.ui.color' for details.


Mercurial can use various systems to display color. The supported modes are "ansi", "win32", and "terminfo". See 'hg help config.color' for details about how to control the mode.


Other effects in addition to color, like bold and underlined text, are also available. By default, the terminfo database is used to find the terminal codes used to change color and effect. If terminfo is not available, then effects are rendered with the ECMA-48 SGR control function (aka ANSI escape codes).

The available effects in terminfo mode are 'blink', 'bold', 'dim', 'inverse', 'invisible', 'italic', 'standout', and 'underline'; in ECMA-48 mode, the options are 'bold', 'inverse', 'italic', and 'underline'. How each is rendered depends on the terminal emulator. Some may not be available for a given terminal type, and will be silently ignored.

If the terminfo entry for your terminal is missing codes for an effect or has the wrong codes, you can add or override those codes in your configuration:

terminfo.dim = \E[2m

where '\E' is substituted with an escape character.


Text receives color effects depending on the labels that it has. Many default Mercurial commands emit labelled text. You can also define your own labels in templates using the label function, see 'hg help templates'. A single portion of text may have more than one label. In that case, effects given to the last label will override any other effects. This includes the special "none" effect, which nullifies other effects.

Labels are normally invisible. In order to see these labels and their position in the text, use the global --color=debug option. The same anchor text may be associated to multiple labels, e.g.

[log.changeset changeset.secret|changeset: 22611:6f0a53c8f587]

The following are the default effects for some default labels. Default effects may be overridden from your configuration file:

status.modified = blue bold underline red_background
status.added = green bold
status.removed = red bold blue_background
status.deleted = cyan bold underline
status.unknown = magenta bold underline
status.ignored = black bold
# 'none' turns off all effects
status.clean = none
status.copied = none
qseries.applied = blue bold underline
qseries.unapplied = black bold
qseries.missing = red bold
diff.diffline = bold
diff.extended = cyan bold
diff.file_a = red bold
diff.file_b = green bold
diff.hunk = magenta
diff.deleted = red
diff.inserted = green
diff.changed = white =
diff.trailingwhitespace = bold red_background
# Blank so it inherits the style of the surrounding label
changeset.public =
changeset.draft =
changeset.secret =
resolve.unresolved = red bold
resolve.resolved = green bold = green = none
branches.closed = black bold
branches.current = green
branches.inactive = none
tags.normal = green
tags.local = black bold
rebase.rebased = blue
rebase.remaining = red bold
shelve.age = cyan
shelve.newest = green bold = blue bold
histedit.remaining = red bold

Custom colors

Because there are only eight standard colors, Mercurial allows you to define color names for other color slots which might be available for your terminal type, assuming terminfo mode. For instance:

color.brightblue = 12 = 207 = 202

to set 'brightblue' to color slot 12 (useful for 16 color terminals that have brighter colors defined in the upper eight) and, 'pink' and 'orange' to colors in 256-color xterm's default color cube. These defined colors may then be used as any of the pre-defined eight, including appending '_background' to set the background to that color.