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rxvt allows 18 different colors and those can usually be defined in your .Xdefaults file in your home directory. I'm using vim on a Laptop under Linux and on AIX with a normal XTerminal. Due to the different display technology I need two very different color definition files:
Linux / Laptop
AIX / XTerminal
Note that depending on your configuration you may have to execute
xrdb each time you changed the .Xdefaults file. Note also that
terminals that are already open will not use the new values, so you have to
reopen a new terminal to check how your color choice looks like.
If your terminfo / termcap library does not include an entry for xterm-color (which is used for rxvt, while color-xterm is used for the color xterm program), you need to create your own. I'm using terminfo, and there you can create this entry (you have to be root to do this) by executing
tic xterm-color.ticUse my xterm-color.tic file if you don't have one. Also, the rxvt distribution includes a handy file that displays all the possible color combinations. I changed it a little bit to also show the default colors (show_color.sh).
If you do not have root privileges you can create your own terminfo
database by creating a directory and pointing the
environment variable there. Me, I'm using
setenv TERMINFO /home/cfl/lib/terminfo tic xterm-color setenv TERM xterm-color