Putting Together An Ubuntu Theme For Windows Terminal

Windows Terminal has proven to be one of my favorite additions to the PC world in a while. Coming from the Linux and Mac paradigm for the last decade-and-a-half, I felt like I needed a capable terminal emulator if I was going to be running a Windows machine as a daily driver again. Of course, the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) just makes me giggle with glee at being able to run Ubuntu at the hypervisor-level instead of using virtualization software like VMware to do the handful of specialized tasks that I would easily perform in a Mac/Linux terminal window.

Of course, if you’re going to have a modern terminal emulator, you need to be able to customize it. Under MacOS, I was rocking a classic green-on-black look that reminded me of playing Zork on an Apple II and was great for getting that “digging around under the hood” vibe. I’ll probably bring that look back for one of my specialized terminal implementations (maybe the dedicated Telnet profile I’ve set up for dialing into the occasional BBS), but for the Ubuntu profile, I wanted something that evoked the orange and purple color scheme that I’ve come to associate with my distro of choice. These colors aren’t exactly the official “on brand” colors that Canonical uses, but they get the idea across.

In Windows Terminal, you can access settings.json from the Settings tab and add the following data to the schemes section:

{
            "background": "#3C0315",
            "black": "#282A2E",
            "blue": "#0170C5",
            "brightBlack": "#676E7A",
            "brightBlue": "#80C8FF",
            "brightCyan": "#8ABEB7",
            "brightGreen": "#B5D680",
            "brightPurple": "#AC79BB",
            "brightRed": "#BD6D85",
            "brightWhite": "#FFFFFD",
            "brightYellow": "#FFFD76",
            "cursorColor": "#FFFFFF",
            "cyan": "#3F8D83",
            "foreground": "#FFFFFD",
            "green": "#76AB23",
            "name": "Ubuntu",
            "purple": "#7D498F",
            "red": "#BD0940",
            "selectionBackground": "#FFFFFF",
            "white": "#FFFFFD",
            "yellow": "#E0DE48"
}

Once you get this inserted, you should be able to select “Ubuntu” from the Color Scheme drop-down under the Appearance tab in your Ubuntu profile, and you’ll get a terminal that looks like this:

Ubuntu color scheme in Windows Terminal

Now that we’ve got the colors all set, we just need to add a custom icon to complete the look. I just grabbed a transparent *.png of the Ubuntu logo and converted it to an *.ico file. I’m weird in that I don’t really use my library folders the way they’re intended. I keep photos on my server, so I don’t have much use for the Pictures library folder. As such, I use the folder for “system” images like custom icons, profile images, and wallpapers. I just dropped the icon into the folder and pointed my Windows Terminal profile to it. Now I’ve got a terminal implementation that reminds me that I’m running a separate operating system on top of Windows and isn’t just another basic grey/white-on-black (that look is reserved for CMD and DOSBox).