How can I get 256 colors?

First, you must enable it in the feature.conf file before compiling.

Second, you must run ELinks on a terminal that supports 256 colours:

Third, you must set the TERM environmental variable to xterm-256color before running ELinks.

Only 16 colors on The Linux console

Although the Linux frame-buffer supports 256 (or more) colors, the Linux console driver does not; therefore, console applications are still limited to 16 colors on the Linux console, frame-buffer or not.