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vim color syntax highlighting over PuTTY ?

I have been hunting through many forums for many hours on a way to get vim color syntax highlighting to work via PuTTY for shell scripts. the "set sytax enable" setting is in ~/.vimrc and locally on the CentOS system, color sytax works perfectly. However, when I connect to the system via PuTTY, although ls commands will show colors as defined in /etc/DIR_COLORS.xterm, if i edit a script in vim, there is never any color highlighting. Please can someone show me how to make the color syntax highlighting work in a PuTTY session running vim ??

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