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kitten-themes - Man Page

Manage kitty color schemes easily


The themes kitten allows you to easily change color themes, from a collection of over three hundred pre-built themes available at X'tty: link https://github.com/kovidgoyal/kitty-themes'kitty-themesX'tty: link'. To use it, simply run:

kitten themes

The kitten allows you to pick a theme, with live previews of the colors. You can choose between light and dark themes and search by theme name by just typing a few characters from the name.

The kitten maintains a list of recently used themes to allow quick switching.

If you want to restore the colors to default, you can do so by choosing the Default theme.

Added in version 0.23.0: The themes kitten

How it works

A theme in kitty is just a .conf file containing kitty settings. When you select a theme, the kitten simply copies the .conf file to ~/.config/kitty/current-theme.conf and adds an include for current-theme.conf to kitty.conf. It also comments out any existing color settings in kitty.conf so they do not interfere.

Once that's done, the kitten sends kitty a signal to make it reload its config.

Using your own themes

You can also create your own themes as .conf files. Put them in the themes sub-directory of the X'tty: link #confloc'kitty config directoryX'tty: link', usually, ~/.config/kitty/themes. The kitten will automatically add them to the list of themes. You can use this to modify the builtin themes, by giving the conf file the name Some theme name.conf to override the builtin theme of that name. Here, Some theme name is the actual builtin theme name, not its file name. Note that after doing so you have to run the kitten and choose that theme once for your changes to be applied.

Contributing new themes

If you wish to contribute a new theme to the kitty theme repository, start by going to the X'tty: link https://github.com/kovidgoyal/kitty-themes'kitty-themesX'tty: link' repository. X'tty: link https://docs.github.com/en/get-started/quickstart/fork-a-repo'Fork itX'tty: link', and use the file template.conf as a template when creating your theme. Once you are satisfied with how it looks, X'tty: link https://docs.github.com/en/pull-requests/collaborating-with-pull-requests/proposing-changes-to-your-work-with-pull-requests/creating-a-pull-request'submit a pull requestX'tty: link' to have your theme merged into the X'tty: link https://github.com/kovidgoyal/kitty-themes'kitty-themesX'tty: link' repository, which will make it available in this kitten automatically.

Changing the theme non-interactively

You can specify the theme name as an argument when invoking the kitten to have it change to that theme instantly. For example:

kitten themes --reload-in=all Dimmed Monokai

Will change the theme to Dimmed Monokai in all running kitty instances. See below for more details on non-interactive operation.

Source code for themes

The source code for this kitten is X'tty: link https://github.com/kovidgoyal/kitty/tree/master/kittens/themes'available on GitHubX'tty: link'.

Command line interface

kitty +kitten themes [options] [theme name to switch to]

Change the kitty theme. If no theme name is supplied, run interactively, otherwise change the current theme to the specified theme name.


--cache-age <CACHE_AGE>

Check for new themes only after the specified number of days. A value of zero will always check for new themes. A negative value will never check for new themes, instead raising an error if a local copy of the themes is not available. Default: 1

--reload-in <RELOAD_IN>

By default, this kitten will signal only the parent kitty instance it is running in to reload its config, after making changes. Use this option to instead either not reload the config at all or in all running kitty instances. Default: parent Choices: all, none, parent


When running non-interactively, dump the specified theme to STDOUT instead of changing kitty.conf. Default: false

--config-file-name <CONFIG_FILE_NAME>

The name or path to the config file to edit. Relative paths are interpreted with respect to the kitty config directory. By default the kitty config file, kitty.conf is edited. This is most useful if you add include themes.conf to your kitty.conf and then have the kitten operate only on themes.conf, allowing kitty.conf to remain unchanged. Default: kitty.conf


Kovid Goyal

Referenced By


Jun 22, 2024 0.35.2 kitty