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Change iTerm2 tab color when using SSH
# Usage:
# source iterm2.zsh
# iTerm2 window/tab color commands
# Requires iTerm2 >= Build
tab-color() {
echo -ne "\033]6;1;bg;red;brightness;$1\a"
echo -ne "\033]6;1;bg;green;brightness;$2\a"
echo -ne "\033]6;1;bg;blue;brightness;$3\a"
tab-reset() {
echo -ne "\033]6;1;bg;*;default\a"
# Change the color of the tab when using SSH
# reset the color after the connection closes
color-ssh() {
if [[ -n "$ITERM_SESSION_ID" ]]; then
trap "tab-reset" INT EXIT
if [[ "$*" =~ "production|ec2-.*compute-1" ]]; then
tab-color 255 0 0
tab-color 0 255 0
ssh $*
compdef _ssh color-ssh=ssh
alias ssh=color-ssh


imazine commented Mar 29, 2014

It's so fantastic !!


ghost commented Apr 6, 2014


rkJun commented Jul 13, 2014

Thanks! good.

This is amazing. Thanks for that!

Awesome man, thanks!

zeitos commented May 7, 2015

This is great, but does this break Ctrl+c for you, meaning: it cancels executions but if you want to cancel something you're typing then that doesn't work

bpiwowar commented Jun 8, 2015

@zeitos I have the same problem - and I cannot use the ctrl+c key afterwards

Update: solved it with

    echo -ne "\033]6;1;bg;*;default\a"
    trap - INT EXIT

apjanke commented Jul 28, 2015

Updated URL for the iTerm2 proprietary escape code documentation:


wadey commented Oct 20, 2015

Wow, glad to see so many people are finding this and finding it useful.

BTW, I am now using a slightly different implementation of this that doesn't require aliasing the ssh command (uses pre / post command hooks instead). Check it out here:

Glutnix commented Dec 1, 2015

@wadey I'm working on making your dotfile above into a configurable Prezto package. With your blessings, I will post a pull-request on sorin-ionescu/prezto under an MIT licence. Let me know.

hamzilla commented Jan 4, 2016

@wadey thanks for the non-ssh method. Works great. One question, would it be possible to split the tab while maintaining two separate colors? Workflow: Open new tab -> split tab -> ssh into two separate hosts -> flip between two hosts and the tab color changes.

Solisol commented Jul 1, 2016

@Glutnix How did it go with the configurable Prezto package? Would like to try it out if it became real :)

sarinkuruvilla commented Jan 9, 2017

@wadey Where do i put this file to use it?

This is awesome, thanks!

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