I didn’t think this rose to the level of github issue, since it is likely caused by some peculiar configuration of my set up, but thought putting in a note with a solution may help someone in the future.
I am running JupyterLab under JupyterHub inside containers in which the user has sudo access and so can install packages. If a user opens a terminal page and installs vim (
sudo apt-get install vim), this is in their personal container, it was not installed in the base user image, and then runs
vi on an existing file, that file is all black.
The fix is to add:
set background=light to their
.vimrc file. It’s almost as if vi is confused about what color it is displaying either bg/fg in. Since the fix is so simple, I left it as one of life’s mysteries.