Convert Emacs Color Themes to X11 Resource Settings
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color-theme-x is an Emacs Lisp package that converts Emacs color themes to X11 resource settings. Applying color themes in this way allows Emacs to start up significantly faster than by loading the theme from Lisp code.

I forked color-theme-x from the file I found on the Emacs wiki because I had some problems with getting it to work consistently.


  1. Place color-theme-x.el somewhere on your Emacs load path.
  2. Add 1(require 'color-theme-x)` to your .emacs

color-theme-x.el is also available in Melpa. See the setup instructions for information on using Melpa. Then you can run M-x package-install color-theme-x to install it.


The default prefix for the X11 resources settings generated by color-theme-x is Emacs. In some environments this may need to be changed; for example you may need to change it to Emacs23 for the properties to by applied to an Emacs 23 installation. To support this, you can either

  1. Add (setq color-theme-x-resource-prefix "<prefix>") to your .emacs
  2. M-x customize-group RET color-theme-x RET and customize the prefix there.


  1. M-x color-theme-x RET <name> RET <path to file defining theme>
  2. This will create a buffer named *color-theme-xresources*. Copy the contents of that buffer to your ~/.Xresources file.
  3. Run xrdb -merge ~/.Xresources

Some pre-converted themes are available under themes/. I've included the theme I use as well as all of the themes in color-theme-library.el that ship with the color-theme package. I'll happily include any other themes you send me as well.