How to use Solarized theme in Emacs

You may have noticed that I became a fan of solarized color palette by Ethan Schoonover used for terminal and gui applications. You will therefore not be too surprised when I describe how to install it and use in Emacs text editor.


Solarized dark theme.

Solarized light theme.

Download color scheme

Emacs color theme is available at sellout/emacs-color-theme-solarized GitHub repository by Greg Pfeil, so download it as a zip file.

$ wget

Install color scheme

Create ~/.emacs.d/ directory as it will be used to store user specific configuration.

$ mkdir -p ~/.emacs.d

Unzip downloaded color scheme.

$ unzip -d ~/.emacs.d/
   creating: /home/milosz/.emacs.d/emacs-color-theme-solarized-master/
 extracting: /home/milosz/.emacs.d/emacs-color-theme-solarized-master/.gitignore  
  inflating: /home/milosz/.emacs.d/emacs-color-theme-solarized-master/LICENSE  
  inflating: /home/milosz/.emacs.d/emacs-color-theme-solarized-master/  
  inflating: /home/milosz/.emacs.d/emacs-color-theme-solarized-master/color-theme-solarized-pkg.el  
  inflating: /home/milosz/.emacs.d/emacs-color-theme-solarized-master/color-theme-solarized.el  
  inflating: /home/milosz/.emacs.d/emacs-color-theme-solarized-master/  
  inflating: /home/milosz/.emacs.d/emacs-color-theme-solarized-master/solarized-dark-theme.el  
  inflating: /home/milosz/.emacs.d/emacs-color-theme-solarized-master/solarized-definitions.el  
  inflating: /home/milosz/.emacs.d/emacs-color-theme-solarized-master/solarized-light-theme.el  

Load selected color scheme

Edit Emacs configuration to load and apply selected color scheme.

$ cat ~/.emacs
;; load solarized color theme
(add-to-list 'load-path "~/.emacs.d/emacs-color-theme-solarized-master/")
(require 'color-theme)
(require 'color-theme-solarized)

;; set dark theme
;; set light theme
;; (color-theme-solarized-light)

Alternative solution

Check out bbatsov/solarized-emacs GitHub repository by Bozhidar Batsov for alternative Solarized color theme ported to Emacs.


Please notice that I am currently using the following Emacs version from the official Debian repository.

$ emacs --version
GNU Emacs 23.4.1
Copyright (C) 2012 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
You may redistribute copies of Emacs
under the terms of the GNU General Public License.
For more information about these matters, see the file named COPYING.

Official solarized color scheme ia available at altercation/solarized GitHub repository.

Milosz Galazka's Picture

About Milosz Galazka

Milosz is a system administrator working for a successful Polish company and a long time supporter of Free Software Foundation and Debian operating system.

Gdansk, Poland