X11 color names

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In computing, on the X Window System, X11 color names are represented in a simple text file, which maps certain strings to RGB color values. It is shipped with every X11 installation, hence the name, and is usually located in <X11root>/lib/X11/rgb.txt. The web colors list is descended from it.

The list does not show continuity either in selected color values or in color names, and many color triplets have multiple names. Despite this, graphic designers and others got used to them, making it practically impossible to introduce a different list. In some applications multipart names are written with spaces, in others joined together, often in camel case; this article uses spaces and uppercase initials.

Color names are not standardized by Xlib or the X11 protocol. In earlier releases of X11 (prior to the introduction of Xcms), server implementors were encouraged to modify the RGB values in the reference color database to account for gamma correction.[1]

The list first shipped with X10 release 3 (X10R3) on 7 June 1986, having been checked into RCS by Jim Gettys in 1985.[2] The same list was in X11R1 on 18 September 1987. Approximately the full list as is available today shipped with X11R4 on 29 January 1989, with substantial additions by Paul Ravelling (who added colors based on Sinclair Paints samples), John C. Thomas (who added colors based on a set of 72 Crayola crayons he had to hand) and Jim Fulton (who reconciled contributions to produce the X11R4 list). The project was running DEC VT240 terminals at the time, so would have worked to that device.[3]

Clashes between web and X11 colors[edit]

The first versions of Mosaic and Netscape Navigator used the X11 colors as the basis for the Web colors list, as both were originally X applications. The W3C specifications SVG and CSS level 3 module Color eventually adopted the X11 list with some changes.[4] It is a superset of the 16 “VGA colors” defined in HTML 3.2 and CSS level 1.

Perhaps most unusual of the color clashes between X11 and W3C is the case of ‘Gray’. In HTML, ‘Gray’ is specifically reserved for the 128 triplet, i.e. 50% gray. However, in X11, ‘gray’ was assigned to the 190 triplet, i.e. 75%, which is close to W3C ‘Silver’, and had ‘Light Gray’ at 211 and ‘Dark Gray’ at 169 counterparts. This resulted in W3C’s ‘Gray’, at 50%, actually being significantly darker than ‘Dark Gray’, at 66%.

The W3C also defined a color that is equal to X11’s ‘Green’, but called it ‘Lime’.

Color name X11 color W3C color
red green blue Sample Sample red green blue
Gray 75% 75% 75%     50% 50% 50%
Green 0% 100% 0%     0% 50% 0%
Maroon 69% 19% 38%     50% 0% 0%
Purple 63% 13% 94%     50% 0% 50%

Color name chart[edit]

The following chart presents the standardized X11 color names accepted by browsers following W3C standards. (This is not the same as a standard set of X-Window colors.) It is abridged and rationalized[clarification needed] and its content will differ from a typical rgb.txt file.[5] The RGB values given are normalized to the 8-bit integer range 0 to 255 (hexadecimal 00–FF).

X11/W3C color names
Color Name Hex (RGB) Red
(RGB)
Green
(RGB)
Blue
(RGB)
Hue
(HSL/HSV)
Satur
(HSL)
Light
(HSL)
Satur
(HSV)
Value
(HSV)
Alternative
  Alice Blue #F0F8FF 94% 97% 100% 208° 100% 97% 6% 100%
  Antique White #FAEBD7 98% 92% 84% 34° 78% 91% 14% 98%
  Aqua #00FFFF 0% 100% 100% 180° 100% 50% 100% 100% Cyan
  Aquamarine #7FFFD4 50% 100% 83% 160° 100% 75% 50% 100%
  Azure #F0FFFF 94% 100% 100% 180° 100% 97% 6% 100%
  Beige #F5F5DC 96% 96% 86% 60° 56% 91% 10% 96%
  Bisque #FFE4C4 100% 89% 77% 33° 100% 88% 23% 100%
  Black #000000 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
  Blanched Almond #FFEBCD 100% 92% 80% 36° 100% 90% 20% 100%
  Blue #0000FF 0% 0% 100% 240° 100% 50% 100% 100%
  Blue Violet #8A2BE2 54% 17% 89% 271° 76% 53% 81% 89%
  Brown #A52A2A 65% 16% 16% 59% 41% 75% 65%
  Burlywood #DEB887 87% 72% 53% 34° 57% 70% 39% 87%
  Cadet Blue #5F9EA0 37% 62% 63% 182° 26% 50% 41% 63%
  Chartreuse #7FFF00 50% 100% 0% 90° 100% 50% 100% 100%
  Chocolate #D2691E 82% 41% 12% 25° 75% 47% 86% 82%
  Coral #FF7F50 100% 50% 31% 16° 100% 66% 69% 100%
  Cornflower #6495ED 39% 58% 93% 219° 79% 66% 58% 93%
  Cornsilk #FFF8DC 100% 97% 86% 48° 100% 93% 14% 100%
  Crimson #DC143C 86% 8% 24% 348° 83% 47% 91% 86%
  Cyan #00FFFF 0% 100% 100% 180° 100% 50% 100% 100% Aqua
  Dark Blue #00008B 0% 0% 55% 240° 100% 27% 100% 55%
  Dark Cyan #008B8B 0% 55% 55% 180° 100% 27% 100% 55%
  Dark Goldenrod #B8860B 72% 53% 4% 43° 89% 38% 94% 72%
  Dark Gray #A9A9A9 66% 66% 66% 0% 66% 0% 66% Dark Grey
  Dark Green #006400 0% 39% 0% 120° 100% 20% 100% 39%
  Dark Khaki #BDB76B 74% 72% 42% 56° 38% 58% 43% 74%
  Dark Magenta #8B008B 55% 0% 55% 300° 100% 27% 100% 55%
  Dark Olive Green #556B2F 33% 42% 18% 82° 39% 30% 56% 42%
  Dark Orange #FF8C00 100% 55% 0% 33° 100% 50% 100% 100%
  Dark Orchid #9932CC 60% 20% 80% 280° 61% 50% 75% 80%
  Dark Red #8B0000 55% 0% 0% 100% 27% 100% 55%
  Dark Salmon #E9967A 91% 59% 48% 15° 72% 70% 48% 91%
  Dark Sea Green #8FBC8F 56% 74% 56% 120° 25% 65% 24% 74%
  Dark Slate Blue #483D8B 28% 24% 55% 248° 39% 39% 56% 55%
  Dark Slate Gray #2F4F4F 18% 31% 31% 180° 25% 25% 41% 31% Dark Slate Grey
  Dark Turquoise #00CED1 0% 81% 82% 181° 100% 41% 100% 82%
  Dark Violet #9400D3 58% 0% 83% 282° 100% 41% 100% 83%
  Deep Pink #FF1493 100% 8% 58% 328° 100% 54% 92% 100%
  Deep Sky Blue #00BFFF 0% 75% 100% 195° 100% 50% 100% 100%
  Dim Gray #696969 41% 41% 41% 0% 41% 0% 41% Dim Grey
  Dodger Blue #1E90FF 12% 56% 100% 210° 100% 56% 88% 100%
  Firebrick #B22222 70% 13% 13% 68% 42% 81% 70%
  Floral White #FFFAF0 100% 98% 94% 40° 100% 97% 6% 100%
  Forest Green #228B22 13% 55% 13% 120° 61% 34% 76% 55%
  Fuchsia #FF00FF 100% 0% 100% 300° 100% 50% 100% 100% Magenta
  Gainsboro #DCDCDC 86% 86% 86% 0% 86% 0% 86%
  Ghost White #F8F8FF 97% 97% 100% 240° 100% 99% 3% 100%
  Gold #FFD700 100% 84% 0% 51° 100% 50% 100% 100%
  Goldenrod #DAA520 85% 65% 13% 43° 74% 49% 85% 85%
  Gray (X11) #BEBEBE 75% 75% 75% 0% 75% 0% 75%
  Gray (W3C) #808080 50% 50% 50% 0% 50% 0% 50% Grey
  Green (X11) #00FF00 0% 100% 0% 120° 100% 50% 100% 100%
  Green (W3C) #008000 0% 50% 0% 120° 100% 25% 100% 50%
  Green Yellow #ADFF2F 68% 100% 18% 84° 100% 59% 82% 100%
  Honeydew #F0FFF0 94% 100% 94% 120° 100% 97% 6% 100%
  Hot Pink #FF69B4 100% 41% 71% 330° 100% 71% 59% 100%
  Indian Red #CD5C5C 80% 36% 36% 53% 58% 55% 80%
  Indigo #4B0082 29% 0% 51% 275° 100% 26% 100% 51%
  Ivory #FFFFF0 100% 100% 94% 60° 100% 97% 6% 100%
  Khaki #F0E68C 94% 90% 55% 54° 77% 75% 42% 94%
  Lavender #E6E6FA 90% 90% 98% 240° 67% 94% 8% 98%
  Lavender Blush #FFF0F5 100% 94% 96% 340° 100% 97% 6% 100%
  Lawn Green #7CFC00 49% 99% 0% 90° 100% 49% 100% 99%
  Lemon Chiffon #FFFACD 100% 98% 80% 54° 100% 90% 20% 100%
  Light Blue #ADD8E6 68% 85% 90% 195° 53% 79% 25% 90%
  Light Coral #F08080 94% 50% 50% 79% 72% 47% 94%
  Light Cyan #E0FFFF 88% 100% 100% 180° 100% 94% 12% 100%
  Light Goldenrod #FAFAD2 98% 98% 82% 60° 80% 90% 16% 98%
  Light Gray #D3D3D3 83% 83% 83% 0% 83% 0% 83% Light Grey
  Light Green #90EE90 56% 93% 56% 120° 73% 75% 39% 93%
  Light Pink #FFB6C1 100% 71% 76% 351° 100% 86% 29% 100%
  Light Salmon #FFA07A 100% 63% 48% 17° 100% 74% 52% 100%
  Light Sea Green #20B2AA 13% 70% 67% 177° 70% 41% 82% 70%
  Light Sky Blue #87CEFA 53% 81% 98% 203° 92% 76% 46% 98%
  Light Slate Gray #778899 47% 53% 60% 210° 14% 53% 22% 60% Light Slate Grey
  Light Steel Blue #B0C4DE 69% 77% 87% 214° 41% 78% 21% 87%
  Light Yellow #FFFFE0 100% 100% 88% 60° 100% 94% 12% 100%
  Lime (W3C) #00FF00 0% 100% 0% 120° 100% 50% 100% 100%
  Lime Green #32CD32 20% 80% 20% 120° 61% 50% 76% 80%
  Linen #FAF0E6 98% 94% 90% 30° 67% 94% 8% 98%
  Magenta #FF00FF 100% 0% 100% 300° 100% 50% 100% 100% Fuchsia
  Maroon (X11) #B03060 69% 19% 38% 338° 57% 44% 73% 69%
  Maroon (W3C) #7F0000 50% 0% 0% 100% 25% 100% 50%
  Medium Aquamarine #66CDAA 40% 80% 67% 160° 51% 60% 50% 80%
  Medium Blue #0000CD 0% 0% 80% 240° 100% 40% 100% 80%
  Medium Orchid #BA55D3 73% 33% 83% 288° 59% 58% 60% 83%
  Medium Purple #9370DB 58% 44% 86% 260° 60% 65% 49% 86%
  Medium Sea Green #3CB371 24% 70% 44% 147° 50% 47% 66% 70%
  Medium Slate Blue #7B68EE 48% 41% 93% 249° 80% 67% 56% 93%
  Medium Spring Green #00FA9A 0% 98% 60% 157° 100% 49% 100% 98%
  Medium Turquoise #48D1CC 28% 82% 80% 178° 60% 55% 66% 82%
  Medium Violet Red #C71585 78% 8% 52% 322° 81% 43% 89% 78%
  Midnight Blue #191970 10% 10% 44% 240° 64% 27% 78% 44%
  Mint Cream #F5FFFA 96% 100% 98% 150° 100% 98% 4% 100%
  Misty Rose #FFE4E1 100% 89% 88% 100% 94% 12% 100%
  Moccasin #FFE4B5 100% 89% 71% 38° 100% 86% 29% 100%
  Navajo White #FFDEAD 100% 87% 68% 36° 100% 84% 32% 100%
  Navy #000080 0% 0% 50% 240° 100% 25% 100% 50%
  Old Lace #FDF5E6 99% 96% 90% 39° 85% 95% 9% 99%
  Olive #808000 50% 50% 0% 60° 100% 25% 100% 50%
  Olive Drab #6B8E23 42% 56% 14% 80° 61% 35% 75% 56%
  Orange #FFA500 100% 65% 0% 39° 100% 50% 100% 100%
  Orange Red #FF4500 100% 27% 0% 16° 100% 50% 100% 100%
  Orchid #DA70D6 85% 44% 84% 302° 59% 65% 49% 85%
  Pale Goldenrod #EEE8AA 93% 91% 67% 55° 67% 80% 29% 93%
  Pale Green #98FB98 60% 98% 60% 120° 93% 79% 39% 98%
  Pale Turquoise #AFEEEE 69% 93% 93% 180° 65% 81% 26% 93%
  Pale Violet Red #DB7093 86% 44% 58% 340° 60% 65% 49% 86%
  Papaya Whip #FFEFD5 100% 94% 84% 37° 100% 92% 16% 100%
  Peach Puff #FFDAB9 100% 85% 73% 28° 100% 86% 27% 100%
  Peru #CD853F 80% 52% 25% 30° 59% 53% 69% 80%
  Pink #FFC0CB 100% 75% 80% 350° 100% 88% 25% 100%
  Plum #DDA0DD 87% 63% 87% 300° 47% 75% 28% 87%
  Powder Blue #B0E0E6 69% 88% 90% 187° 52% 80% 23% 90%
  Purple (X11) #A020F0 63% 13% 94% 277° 87% 53% 87% 94%
  Purple (W3C) #7F007F 50% 0% 50% 300° 100% 25% 100% 50%
  Red #FF0000 100% 0% 0% 100% 50% 100% 100%
  Rosy Brown #BC8F8F 74% 56% 56% 25% 65% 24% 74%
  Royal Blue #4169E1 25% 41% 88% 225° 73% 57% 71% 88%
  Saddle Brown #8B4513 55% 27% 7% 25° 76% 31% 86% 55%
  Salmon #FA8072 98% 50% 45% 93% 71% 54% 98%
  Sandy Brown #F4A460 96% 64% 38% 28° 87% 67% 61% 96%
  Sea Green #2E8B57 18% 55% 34% 146° 50% 36% 67% 55%
  Seashell #FFF5EE 100% 96% 93% 25° 100% 97% 7% 100%
  Sienna #A0522D 63% 32% 18% 19° 56% 40% 72% 63%
  Silver (W3C) #C0C0C0 75% 75% 75% 0% 75% 0% 75%
  Sky Blue #87CEEB 53% 81% 92% 197° 71% 73% 43% 92%
  Slate Blue #6A5ACD 42% 35% 80% 248° 54% 58% 56% 80%
  Slate Gray #708090 44% 50% 56% 210° 13% 50% 22% 56% Slate Grey
  Snow #FFFAFA 100% 98% 98% 100% 99% 2% 100%
  Spring Green #00FF7F 0% 100% 50% 150° 100% 50% 100% 100%
  Steel Blue #4682B4 27% 51% 71% 207° 44% 49% 61% 71%
  Tan #D2B48C 82% 71% 55% 34° 44% 69% 33% 82%
  Teal #008080 0% 50% 50% 180° 100% 25% 100% 50%
  Thistle #D8BFD8 85% 75% 85% 300° 24% 80% 12% 85%
  Tomato #FF6347 100% 39% 28% 100% 64% 72% 100%
  Turquoise #40E0D0 25% 88% 82% 174° 72% 57% 71% 88%
  Violet #EE82EE 93% 51% 93% 300° 76% 72% 45% 93%
  Wheat #F5DEB3 96% 87% 70% 39° 77% 83% 27% 96%
  White #FFFFFF 100% 100% 100% 0% 100% 0% 100%
  White Smoke #F5F5F5 96% 96% 96% 0% 96% 0% 96%
  Yellow #FFFF00 100% 100% 0% 60° 100% 50% 100% 100%
  Yellow Green #9ACD32 60% 80% 20% 80° 61% 50% 76% 80%

Shades of gray[edit]

The list shown above covers only the colors supported by popular browsers. Some browsers like Netscape Navigator insisted on an ‘a’ in any ‘Gray’ except for ‘Light Grey’.

The complete rgb.txt defines 101 shades from ‘Gray 0’ (black) up to ‘Gray 100’ (white) in addition to ‘Gray’ and its variants listed above. The shades are apparently defined by the formula Gray N := round(N% × 255) resulting in e.g. ‘Gray 96’ , which happens to be the same as ‘White Smoke’. Similarly ‘Dim Gray’ is the same as ‘Gray 41’ .

On the other hand ‘Gray’ lies between ‘Gray 74’ and ‘Gray 75’ , ‘Dark Gray’ is not the same as ‘Gray 66’ , and ‘Light Grey’ is not the same as ‘Gray 83’ .

Color variations[edit]

[citation needed]

For 78 colors[which?] as listed above, rgb.txt offers four variants ‘color 1’, ‘color 2’, ‘color 3’, and ‘color 4’, with ‘color 1’ corresponding to ‘color’, so e.g. ‘Snow 1’ is the same as ‘Snow’. These variations are neither supported by popular browsers nor adopted by W3C standards.

The formulae used to determine the RGB values for these variations appear to be somewhere near

color 1 := color
color 2 := color × 93.2%
color 3 := color × 80.4%
color 4 := color × 54.8%

Examples:

  • ‘Yellow 2’ (238, 238, 0) is based on ‘Yellow’ (255, 255, 0) with 255 × 0.932 = 237.66.
  • ‘Ivory 3’ (205, 205, 196) is explained by ‘Ivory’ (255, 255, 240) where 255 × 0.804 = 205.02 and 240 × 0.804 = 192.96.
  • ‘Azure 4’ (131, 139, 139) is close to ‘Azure’ (240, 255, 255) values transformed as 255 × 0.548 = 139.74 and 240 × 0.548 = 131.52.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nye, Adrian (1990). Xlib programming manual : for version 11 of the X Window System (2nd ed. covers release 3 and release 4, major revisions. ed.). [Sebastapol, CA]: O'Reilly & Associates. ISBN 0-937175-11-0. 
  2. ^ http://cgit.freedesktop.org/~alanc/xc-historical/log/xc/programs/rgb/rgb.txt
  3. ^ Sexton, Alex (12 March 2014). "Last call comments on CSS3 module: color". www-style@w3.org mailing list. World Wide Web Consortium. Retrieved 12 March 2014. 
  4. ^ "Netscape.com". Wp.netscape.com. Retrieved 2013-08-14. 
  5. ^ "Lists.w3.org". w3.org. April 2002. Retrieved 2013-08-14. 

External links[edit]