The Solarized Dark Vim

Today, I spent a whole day on reconfigure my Vim. Vim is a powerful monster that needs care. Once you feed it with (your precious) time, Vim will pay you back with a nice and pretty editing experience.

Solarized Dark vim
▲ Solarized Dark vim

Two things I’ll talk about today: Solarized Dark and Powerline.

Solarized Dark

Solarized Dark is a color palette designed by Ethan Schoonover. From my experiences, this color scheme proves to be usable across many kinds of computers and monitors. The colors are smooth and clear. Color settings for most of daily use apps are provided on the official website. Even if it doesn’t provided officially, you usually still can find it somewhere on the Internet. :-p In short, pretty color for your eyes and large userbase. Go get it now!

To use this color scheme (properly) in Vim, some prerequisites must be met.

  • A decent terminal emulator with properly configured 256-colors support
  • Install vim-colors-solarized plugin

Since there are way too many terminal apps to be introduced one-by-one, I’ll save your time from that. I can tell you that I’m using this color scheme on iTerm2, mintty, gnome-terminal. Oh, Did I mention that I just gave your links to those color scheme files? :-D

P.S. OSX’s Terminal is no good, try iTerm2 if you’re using OSX.

Once you prepared your terminal environment for colorful life, we can get to the business. The vim-colors-solarized plugin can be installed by adding this line to your .vimrc, given that you’re using Vundle, and please do use it.

Bundle 'altercation/vim-colors-solarized'

colorscheme solarized

Save, reopen your vim, and run :BundleInstall. Do reopen your vim again, then Voilà!


Powerline is a plugin designed to power your Vim’s laststatus. It gives you a super pretty and useful statusbar right after installation. If you want to install this plugin, add those to your .vimrc.

Bundle 'Lokaltog/vim-powerline'

let g:Powerline_symbols = 'fancy'

Set g:Powerline_symbols to fancy gives you best look, but it requires you to use a patched font. You can find those fonts here. To use those fonts, simple download it and change your favorite terminal app’s fonts to ``[Your favorite font name here] for Powerline’’.


Your Vim should now be look liked mine in the screenshot. However, this is just a start. The real power of vim lies in the plugins. Maybe I’ll write another post to talk about my favorite vim plugins sometimes later. Bon voyage, on the journey of becoming a power Vim user. :-)