Matt Wozniski wrote an awesome little Vim plugin called CSApprox that lets Vim transparently apply GVim colorschemes in the terminal. CSApprox works by approximating the color in the GVim colorscheme to the closest availble color in your terminal, provided that your terminal supports either 88 or 256 colors.

After downloading the plugin zip and extracting it to the ~/.vim directory, I was met with a rather disappointing message:

CSApprox skipped; terminal only has 8 colors, not 88/256
Try checking :help csapprox-terminal for workarounds

Don’t worry, GNOME Terminal isn’t actually limited to 8 colors, it just evades detection. We can easily force 256 color support by setting the t_Co option in ~/.vimrc .

set t_Co=256

Here is a screenshot of the GVim colorscheme jellybeans.vim running inside of GNOME Terminal.

The GVim colorscheme jellybeans.vim in GNOME Terminal

The GVim colorscheme jellybeans.vim in GNOME Terminal

Pretty. No?

Edit: I need to make a minor retraction: jellybeans.vim already supports 256 color terminals, so we’re only seeing the effect of set t_Co=256 here and not CSApprox. In demoing this I picked the nicest scheme I had for GVim, not realizing it already supported 256 color vim. Enjoy anyway =).