How to Enable Colors to Ls Command Output


On this article, I’m going to put in writing about establishing colours for ls command output in your bash shell. In Linux, ls is without doubt one of the primary and most repeatedly used instructions in our day by day administration duties to checklist the contents of a listing.

When you’ve got observed ls command reveals totally different colours for the directories and information, that is what we’re going to focus on right here on this article to set and alter desired colours for the ls command.

Default ls Colours

If you’re utilizing any Linux OS like Ubuntu or CentOS, the default GUI terminals and console shell immediate show information in numerous contextual colours. Nonetheless, you’ll have so as to add colour to the ls command if a machine that doesn’t assist coloured listing listings by default utilizing ls –color.

Run the next instructions to show the default colours of any directories and information in your system.

$ ls
$ ls -al /tmp
$ ls -al –color /tmp

ls output

You can too make use of the next instructions to test how the colours are assigned.

$ dircolors
$ echo $LS_COLOR


Right here you may see a protracted checklist of file sorts and quantity codes of default coloring scheme that we are going to clarify how one can create by your self.

Turning ON/OFF colours for ls command

The colours of ls command output is outlined in bash as aliases. Run the mixture of following aliases and grep command to seek out the bash shell aliases used for colour show.

$ alias | grep ls

Now run the instructions beneath to take away alias with the unalias command.

$ unalias ls

Or simply run the next ls to show off the colours.

$ ls –color=none

turn off ls colors

You may see within the screenshot that after eradicating the alias the output of ls command is uni colour.

Now, to allow the colours, assign again the alias utilizing the next command.

$ alias ls=’ls –color=auto’

turn on ls colors

You may see within the screenshot that after eradicating the alias the output of ls command is uni colour.

Now, to allow the colours, assign again the alias utilizing the next command.

$ alias ls=’ls –color=auto’

Default Colours Code Scheme

Within the course of for assembling your checklist of file sorts and colours, we have to specify as many as you want within the type filetype=colour, separating every with a colon (:) character.

Following is the checklist of coloring schemes with default setup.

● Uncolored (white): file or non-filename textual content (e.g. permissions within the output of ls -l)
● Daring blue: listing
● Daring cyan: symbolic hyperlink
● Daring inexperienced: executable file
● Daring crimson: archive file
● Daring magenta: picture file, video, graphic, and so forth. or door or socket
● Cyan: audio file
● with black background: pipe (AKA FIFO)
● Daring with black background: block machine or character machine
● Daring with black background: orphan symlink or lacking file
● Uncolored with crimson background: set-user-ID file
● Black with background: set-group-ID file
● Black with background: file with functionality
● White with blue background: sticky listing
● Blue with inexperienced background: other-writable listing
● Black with inexperienced background: sticky and other-writable listing

To assemble your personal checklist, we have to know the checklist of colour codes and file sort codes which use the identical numerical colour codes like in your Bash immediate.

Yow will discover beneath the checklist of colour codes for the foreground textual content

● Black: 30
● : 31
● Inexperienced: 32
● : 33
● Blue: 34
● Purple: 35
● Cyan: 36
● White: 37

Change Customized ls colours

With the intention to setup customized colours for the ls command, this may also be completed via updating the aliases to the ~/.bash_profile or ~/.bashrc file by modifying the file utilizing any textual content editor like vim.

Earlier than making any modifications to the bashrc, first take the backup of this file by copying its configurations to another file.

$ cp .bashrc .bashrc2

For those who make a mistake or have bother, you may exchange your .bashrc file by typing:

$ cp .bashrc2 .bashrc

Now let’s open up the bashrc file utilizing the vim command.

$ vim .bashrc


## Colorize the ls output ##
alias ls=’ls –color=auto’

## Use a protracted itemizing format ##
alias ll=’ls -la’

## Present hidden information ##
alias l.=’ls -d .* –color=auto’

bashrc ls color setup

Upon getting made any modifications to the baschrc file, subsequent put it aside and run the command beneath to replace your bash modifications.

$ supply .bashrc

Let’s for instance see how this works within the following steps. If you wish to change the colour of directories from the default daring blue to daring, run the next instructions in your terminal as proven.

$ LS_COLORS=”di=1;33”

ls example change color to yellow

You may add a brand new key worth pair on the finish of the LS_COLORS atmosphere variable or just Edit the worth of a selected key.

For instance, di=0;33, right here di means the colour will influence solely to directories whereas Zero represents it’s a standard colour, and 33 represents the colour is.

For those who wished to maintain a daring font for the directories, the colour code needs to be di=1;33 whereas 1 represents daring font.

Extra Examples

Let’s mess around by utilizing the next instructions to vary the colours of your folders and a few particular file extensions.

$ export LS_COLORS=$LS_COLORS:”*.txt=01;36″:”*.mp3=01;31″

change ls color

Right here you may see that we’ve up to date the colour for .txt information to Cyan and for the information with .mp3 extension to .

Let’s run one other command beneath to set the colour of your directories to Purple.

$ export LS_COLORS=”di=0;35″

change ls output color to purple

As soon as you’re conversant in establishing customized colours, you may make these modifications everlasting by including them to your dot bashrc information situated in your customers house listing.


On the finish of this tutorial, you have to be conversant in the colours of ls command, what they signify and the way we will allow or disable and alter them for our personal comfort. Setting your LS_COLORS makes your ls listings look extra fairly which helps you in figuring out information whereas wading via a file system.

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