Skip to content
The Zenburn colour theme ported to Emacs
Emacs Lisp
Find file
Pull request Compare This branch is 1 commit ahead of bbatsov:master.
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Failed to load latest commit information. gittip -> gratipay
zenburn-theme.el [local] [wip] re-theme diff-hl

License GPL 3 MELPA MELPA Stable Gratipay


Zenburn for Emacs is a direct port of the popular Zenburn theme for vim, developed by Jani Nurminen. It's my personal belief (and that of its many users I presume) that it's one of the best low contrast color themes out there and that it is exceptionally easy on the eyes.

This theme uses the new built-in theming support available starting with Emacs 24.



Download zenburn-theme.el to the directory ~/.emacs.d/themes/. Add this to your .emacs:

(add-to-list 'custom-theme-load-path "~/.emacs.d/themes/")

Now you can load the theme with the interactive function load-theme like this:

M-x load-theme RET zenburn


Zenburn is available in both Marmalade and MELPA. Keep in mind the fact the version in the Marmalade repo may not always be up-to-date.

You can install zenburn with the following command:

M-x package-install zenburn-theme

To load it automatically on Emacs startup add this to your init file:

(load-theme 'zenburn t)

Emacs Prelude

Zenburn for Emacs is already bundled into Emacs Prelude. If you're a Prelude user - you're probably already using Zenburn, since it's Prelude's default color theme. You can load Zenburn at any time by M-x load-theme zenburn.

Ugly colors in the terminal Emacs version

If your Emacs looks considerably uglier in a terminal (compared to the GUI version) try adding this to your .bashrc or .zshrc:

export TERM=xterm-256color

Source the .bashrc(.zshrc) file and start Emacs again.

Bugs & Improvements

Please, report any problems that you find on the projects integrated issue tracker. If you've added some improvements and you want them included upstream don't hesitate to send me a patch or even better - a GitHub pull request. These contributors have done so.

You can support my work on Zenburn and all my other projects via gratipay.

Support via Gratipay

Cheers, Bozhidar

Something went wrong with that request. Please try again.