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Colorize your output using RegEx

Project description


A tool for colorizing the output of a terminal.


ChromaTerm (ct) reads from standard input and highlights according to user-configurable rules. Here's an example using the rules in the included configuration file:

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pip3 install chromaterm

If you have the legacy version of ChromaTerm, be sure to uninstall it first.

# If installed using HomeBrew
brew uninstall chromaterm

# If installed from source
git clone -b legacy


By default, ChromaTerm reads a YAML file at ~/.chromatermrc which would have your highlight rules. As an example, run the following:

echo "Jul 14 12:28:19: Message from" | ct

Think of ChromaTerm like grep; just pipe things into it. However, unlike other programs which line-buffer, ct works with interactive applications, like ssh. In fact, I have this in my .bash_profile ssh() { /usr/bin/ssh $* | ct; }.

During installation, the default config file was copied to ~/.chromatermrc; modify it to your liking.

Highlight Rules

All of the highlight rules are placed under the highlights array in the configuration file.



A simple rule matches using regex and highlights the match according to color. For example:

- description: My first rule
  regex: hello.+world
  color: red


A complex rule can color sub-groups differently. For example:

- description: My first rule
  regex: hey (there)
    0: green
    1: blue



Optional. It's purely for your sake.


The RegEx engine used is Python RegEx, not to be confused with the native Python re. It was chosen because it has support for variable-length look-behinds.


Once something matches the RegEx of a rule, the color is applied to the match. For complex rules, each group's color is applied to the respective group.

The color can be a named (predefined) action or a custom one. Multiple colors can be used, like bold red or <fca><BAF>. The named actions are:

  • VT100: bold, dim, underscore, blink, b black, b blue, b cyan, b green, b magenta, b red, b white, b yellow, black, blue, cyan, white, and yellow.
  • xterm-256: b azure, b ebony, b jade, b lime, b orange, b pink, b silver, b tan, b violet, azure, ebony, jade, light azure, light ebony, light jade, light lime, light orange, light pink, light silver, light tan, light violet, lime, orange, pink, silver, tan, and violet.

Terminals that support xterm-256 codes will support VT100 codes.

To use a custom action, man ct has more info on that. Run ct --demo to see the full range of colors.


ChromaTerm includes a manual; check out man ct.

Questions, Suggestions, or Bugs

Please open up an issue (always appreciated).

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