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How to set the colors displayed with the ls command

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the output of the ls command can be colorized for different file types including symbolic links, directories, and executables.

  1. Edit:
    • /etc/DIR_COLORS
    • for local user ~/.dir_colors
  2. add the line
    • COLOR [option]
    • where [option] can be none tty or all
  3. add line for your terminal program:
    • TERM [type]
    • where [type] is xterm, aterm, eterm, or what ever your terminal is

Seting colorsEdit

Below are the color init strings for the basic file types. A color init string consists of one or more of the following numeric codes:

  • Attribute codes:

00=none 01=bold 04=underscore 05=blink 07=reverse 08=concealed

  • Text color codes:

30=black 31=red 32=green 33=yellow 34=blue 35=magenta 36=cyan 37=white

  • Background color codes:

40=black 41=red 42=green 43=yellow 44=blue 45=magenta 46=cyan 47=white

NORMAL 00 # global default, although everything should be something.
FILE 00 # normal file
DIR 01;37 # directory
LINK 01;36 # symbolic link. (If you set this to 'target' instead of a
                   # numerical value, the color will match the file pointed to)
FIFO 40;33 # pipe
SOCK 01;35 # socket
DOOR 01;35 # door
BLK 40;33;01 # block device driver
CHR 40;33;01 # character device driver
ORPHAN 01;05;37;41 # orphaned syminks
MISSING 01;05;37;41 # ... and the files they point to

This is for files with execute permission:

EXEC 01;32

List any file extensions like '.gz' or '.tar' that you would like ls to colorize below. Put the extension, a space, and the color init string. (and any comments you want to add after a '#')

.cmd 01;32 # executables (bright green) .exe 01;32 .com 01;32 .btm 01;32 .bat 01;32 .sh 01;32 .csh 01;32

using colorsEdit


  • ls --color

For ls to display in color( --color=tty ) is applicable

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