Zenburn - A pleasant color scheme for PuTTY

PuTTY's ("Putty" henceforth) default color scheme doesn't work for everyone. Especially, the (pure) blue color used for listing folders; that looks terrible on the black background.

On searching for better color schemes for Putty, I stumbled upon this blog post which shows two color schemes for Putty. Out of these, I settled for the Zenburn color scheme.

Steps to modify Putty's color scheme and saving it to new or already loaded sessions can be found here.

Putty RGB colors/options for the Zenburn color scheme are as follows -
  • Default Foreground - 255/255/255
  • Default Background - 51/51/51
  • ANSI Black - 77/77/77
  • ANSI Green - 152/251/152
  • ANSI Yellow - 240/230/140
  • ANSI Blue - 205/133/63
  • ANSI Blue Bold -135/206/235
  • ANSI Magenta - 255/222/173 or 205/92/92
  • ANSI Cyan - 255/160/160
  • ANSI Cyan Bold - 255/215/0
  • ANSI White - 245/222/179
In addition to the above colors, I applied two more changes to the font (Putty -> Window -> Appearance -> Font Settings) - 
  • Font - Consolas, 10-point
  • Font quality - Default (you can play around with this option to see what suits your screen/display best).

Zenburn theme in a PuTTY console.

Edit: If you're on Windows, check out this Github repo which contains ready made registry files for installing the Zenburn scheme in Putty.

More on the Zenburn color scheme -


  1. Awesome! I've been looking for a good PuTTY theme.

  2. Great. Exactly what I was looking for. Thanks!

  3. This color scheme is beautiful, I love it. It's the best I've come across. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Have been trying to modify my colors in Putty. I can make the changes in the box, but they don't seem to be saved anywhere. What must I do to save them?


    1. You have to go back to the sessions section and save it as a session. Probably want to save it into your default session.

  5. Love it! The red text is hard to read, It's better if you set ANSI Red to 255/45/45.

  6. damn, i was banging head for hours and landed here after googling "how the hell we change the putty color scheme". Thank you.

  7. Exactly what I'd been looking for: something to mimic Sublime Text 2. Thanks so much!

  8. Add a reg file to set the colors you mentioned above. Replace PLACE_HOLDER with your session name to use it. https://gist.github.com/axqd/7082cd3ac17e29e6f377

  9. Thanks, like this colour scheme very much!

  10. Hi guys... I've been trying to set the Putty colors for a long time, but nothing has worked.

    I have enabled all the options suggested as ANSI color, and bolded text as a different color, but still see the same color font... please help!!!

    1. Do you have the option "use system colors" checked? If you do, it won't honor your colors.

  11. You have to create a session (or load one if you have created one already), then make your changes and then click save in the session window. Also make sure that Window -> Colours -> Use system colours, is not ticked (and if it is you need to save again before connecting).

  12. You're awesome man. Appreciate this

  13. Really Superb :D

    Excellent settings ... But just have a doubt ..
    If any directory have a full access the folder is listed with green and red .. how do I change that to a black

  14. Awesome, the theme is very addictive!!
    I want to have the same for Terminal for Ubuntu. How do i do that?

  15. This is nice. The black is an oldschool monochrome terminal black, it's like comfort noise for the eyes. The .REG is easily modified for the name of each profile you want it on, I just kept modifying and re-running it.