Couldn't we enable 256 colors by default on TERM?

Pádraig Brady P at
Tue Jun 26 21:31:09 UTC 2012

On 06/26/2012 07:35 PM, Chris Adams wrote:
> Once upon a time, Miloslav Trmač <mitr at> said:
>> Another one is that connecting to systems that don't support xterm-256
>> is not quite easy.  In particular, there appears to be no way to
>> configure ~/.ssh/config so that "ssh oldhost" (and "ssh oldhost
>> arbitrarycommand") transparently changes the TERM value - one would
>> have to set up shell functions or something similar.  An extension of
>> the ssh would be very nice - and failing that, an explicit recipe how
>> to override TERM correctly would be welcome as well.
> The OpenSSH devs might be open to such.  I'd be willing to take it up
> with them and write a patch (if they'll accept it).
> Any suggestions on how it should work?  Ideally, some way to say "drop
> the -256color suffix from TERM if preset" would be best.

Well this is a general issue.
For example with urxvt we have:

rxvt-unicode rxvt-xpm

So sshing from urxvt already needs resetting of $TERM on various systems.

I guess this issue might be some of the reason for the reluctance to address:

The usual way to set/adjust TERM appropriate for the remote system
is just to use the startup files there. This is what I add to ~/.profile
on a solaris system for example:

[ "$SSH_CONNECTION" ] && export TERM=xterm

I'm not sure adding such functionality to .ssh/config
would be of much benefit TBH.


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