Color Spills Over From SSH Session

Joshua Isom jrisom at
Sat Jul 9 16:21:47 UTC 2011

Screen uses it's own $TERM, screen, so you'll have to make sure it's 
correct.  If you're not committed to GNU screen, you could try tmux 
which is part of OpenBSD, and ported to FreeBSD.  If you use tmux, 
you'll have to make sure the $TERM inside the screen session is 'screen' 
and not something else.  Most terminals are similar enough to just work 
until you do something special.

On 7/9/2011 11:05 AM, David Krauser wrote:
> I echoed $TERM on both boxes, and they are both cons25. I figured out,
> though, that I'm only seeing the color spillover issue when I run GNU
> Screen on the remote box (which is OpenBSD). GNU Screen is not installed
> on the FreeBSD box.
> How can I get screen's colors to work in my FreeBSD ssh sessions? I can
> connect to the remote box from other computers (using putty, xterm,
> linux console, etc.) without issue. Maybe I need to have screen
> installed in FreeBSD?
> On Sat, 9 Jul 2011, Joshua Isom wrote:
>> On 7/8/2011 11:07 PM, David Krauser wrote:
>>> Hello everybody,
>>> I've tried to setup a kind of 'dedicated ssh client' using FreeBSD, and
>>> I'm having some issues with the terminal colors.
>>> I have a basic install of FreeBSD 8.2-RELEASE (I only had kernel-dev
>>> packages checked at installation) and I rebuilt the GENERIC kernel with
>>> the VESA and SC_PIXEL_MODE options enabled (for a high resolution
>>> terminal).
>>> Now here's the problem: when I ssh into another box and issue a command
>>> with colors (like vim's syntax hilighting or a colored ls) the primary
>>> color of the terminal will change. I'm often left with a crazy colored
>>> and hard to read bash prompt (all in the ssh session). When I exit the
>>> session back to FreeBSD, the colors persist. I have to use the command
>>> 'reset' to fix the issue.
>>> I believe my primary FreeBSD shell is csh (it's whatever the default is
>>> in FreeBSD) and I'm not sure if it can handle colors or if it has them
>>> enabled. I generally ssh into a bash shell.
>>> I'm really a newcomer with FreeBSD, and any help would be greatly
>>> appreciated.
>>> Thanks a bunch,
>>> David Krauser
>>> david.krauser at
>> Are you sshing from the console or an xterm? If it's from the console,
>> it should be cons25, and if it's from an xterm it should be xterm or
>> xterm-color. You might have the .cshrc on the other box forcing it to
>> something that it's not. On the FreeBSD box, run `echo $TERM` and note
>> what it says, then ssh into the other box and run it again. They're
>> probably different.
>> It's probably not the FreeBSD box, but the other box doesn't know what
>> you're using.
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