Xterm defaults to black text, the foreground color, on a white background. The foreground and background colors can be reversed using the VT Options menu or with the
-rv command line option.
$ xterm -rv
Xterm's foreground color (the text color) and the background color may be set from the command line, using the options
xterm -fg PapayaWhip -bg "rgb:00/00/80"
The first sixteen terminal colors, as well as the foreground and background colors, may be set from an X resources file:
XTerm*foreground: rgb:b2/b2/b2 XTerm*background: rgb:08/08/08 XTerm*color0: rgb:28/28/28 ! ...Lines omitted... XTerm*color15: rgb:e4/e4/e4
Many suggestions for color schemes can be viewed in the forum thread, Terminal Colour Scheme Screenshots