Changing Vim Colors and Risks in Vim Color Files from the Internet | by Teri Radichel | Cloud Security | April 2024


Taking a closer look at how VIM color scripts work

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To change colors in your vi/vim editor, you have several options. You can choose one of the built-in color profiles (all of which are quite busy for my tastes) and use that. The least busy profile is named calm. If I want to use this profile, I modify this file:


I add this text:

colo quiet

You can also place a .vim file in the following directory on an AWS EC2 instance. This method may vary in other versions of Linux:


For example, I can copy quiet.vim from my system to this directory and modify it. It will override the default directory settings if I configure vim to use the silent profile.

Alternatively, I can create my own file:


Then I can write my own color profile and update my .vimrc to:

colo tr

vim color files on the internet ~ a warning

Alternatively, I could download one of the many color files on the Internet. When I took a look at different vim color profiles on the internet, I found some really complex scripts. Do they really have to be this complicated?

For example, I found a beautiful Vim color profile called north which mentions “public APIs”. Is this code actually for the internet to update the colors in your editor or what is it??

What is this? I don’t know but I don’t think I need to run a node app or JavaScript files to change colors in Vim, but maybe I’m missing something.

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