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Re: Is 256 colors possible with cmd.exe?

Alex Leigh:
> So my question is, is it possible to get 256 colors
> with Cygwin running on top of cmd.exe?

As Corinna already said: nope. Windows represents console colours with
only four bits: red, green, blue, bright:

Only thing you can do is change the resulting 16 colours in the
console properties.

(A bit of pedantry: Cygwin programs don't run on top of cmd.exe; they
run in console windows. On Windows 7 those are managed by conhost.exe.
Cmd.exe is just another program that runs in a console window.)

> If this is not possible, then does anyone have any advice on ways to
> have compatibility with both Unix terminal features including 256
> color and Windows console programs within a single terminal app? The
> only solution of this sort I've found is conin.exe from the developers
> of mintty. It does provide half the solution in that it allows input
> to be piped from mintty to Windows console programs, but unfortunately
> it's not possible to see the output from those programs.

Conin isn't quite that useless. It works ok for programs that only
depend on stdin being a console, e.g. python, scala, and cmd.exe,
although there are quirks. With others such as the mysql client,
output does work, but you don't get a prompt because it checks whether
both stdin and stdout are consoles to decide whether to enter
interactive mode. Output will fail completely though when programs use
console-specific output functions, in particular WriteConsole and

Which programs are the problem cases for you?


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