The program ls(1) uses the environment variable LS_COLORS to determine in what color the filenames should be displayed. This environment variable is usually set by a command like
eval `dircolors some_path/dir_colors`
found in a system default shell initialization file, like /etc/profile or /etc/csh.cshrc. (See also dircolors(1).) Usually, the file used here is /etc/DIR_COLORS and can be overridden by a .dir_colors file in one's home directory.
This configuration file consists of several statements, one per line. Anything right of a hash mark (hash mark is at the beginning of a line or is preceded by at least one whitespace. Blank lines are ignored.
The global section of the file consists of any statement before the first TERM statement. Any statement in the global section of the file is considered valid for all terminal types. Following the global section is one or more terminal-specific sections, which are preceded by one or more TERM statements which specify the terminal types (as given by the TERM environment variable) the following declarations apply for. It is always possible to override a global declaration by a subsequent terminal-specific one.
The following statements are recognized, case is insignificant:
Starts a terminal-specific section and specifies which terminal it applies to. Multiple TERM statements can be used to create a section which applies for several terminal types.
Specifies that colorization should be always enabled (yes or all), never enabled (no or none) or enabled only if the output is a terminal (tty). The default is no.
Specifies that eight-bit ISO 8859 characters should be enabled by default. Can for compatibility reasons also be specified as 1 for yes or 0 for no. The default is no.
Adds command line options to the default ls command line. The options can be any valid ls command line options, and should include the leading minus sign. Please note that dircolors does not verify the validity of these options.
Specifies the color used for normal (non-filename) text.
Specifies the color used for a regular file.
Specifies the color used for directories.
Specifies the color used for a symbolic link.
Specifies the color used for an orphanned symbolic link (one which points to a nonexistent file). If this is unspecified, ls will use the LINK color instead.
Specifies the color used for a missing file (a nonexistent file which nevertheless has a symbolic link pointing to it). If this is unspecified, ls will use the FILE color instead.
Specifies the color used for a FIFO (named pipe).
Specifies the color used for a socket.
Specifies the color used for a block device special file.
Specifies the color used for a character device special file.
Specifies the color used for a file with the executable attribute set.
Specifies the left code for non-ISO 6429 terminals (see below).
Specifies the right code for non-ISO 6429 terminals (see below).
Specifies the end code for non-ISO 6429 terminals (see below).
Specifies the color used for any file that ends in extension.
Most color-capable ASCII terminals today use ISO 6429 (ANSI) color sequences, and many common terminals without color capability, including xterm and the widely used and cloned DEC VT100, will recognize ISO 6429 color codes and harmlessly eliminate them from the output or emulate them. ls uses ISO 6429 codes by default, assuming colorization is enabled.
1 for brighter colors 4 for underlined text 5 for flashing text 30 for black foreground 31 for red foreground 32 for green foreground 33 for yellow (or brown) foreground 34 for blue foreground 35 for purple foreground 36 for cyan foreground 37 for white (or gray) foreground 40 for black background 41 for red background 42 for green background 43 for yellow (or brown) background 44 for blue background 45 for purple background 46 for cyan background 47 for white (or gray) background
Not all commands will work on all systems or display devices.
ls uses the following defaults:
NORMAL 0 Normal (non-filename) text FILE 0 Regular file DIR 32 Directory LINK 36 Symbolic link ORPHAN undefined Orphanned symbolic link MISSING undefined Missing file FIFO 31 Named pipe (FIFO) SOCK 33 Socket BLK 44;37 Block device CHR 44;37 Character device EXEC 35 Executable file
If you have a color-capable (or otherwise highlighting) terminal (or printer!) which uses a different set of codes, you can still generate a suitable setup. To do so you will have to use the LEFTCODE, RIGHTCODE, and ENDCODE definitions.
When writing out a filename, ls generates the following output sequence: LEFTCODE typecode RIGHTCODE filename ENDCODE, where the typecode is the color sequence that depends on the type or name of file. If the ENDCODE is undefined, the sequence LEFTCODE NORMAL RIGHTCODE will be used instead. The purpose of the left- and rightcodes is merely to reduce the amount of typing necessary (and to hide ugly escape codes away from the user). If they are not appropriate for your terminal, you can eliminate them by specifying the respective keyword on a line by itself.
To specify control- or blank characters in the color sequences or filename extensions, either C-style -escaped notation, or stty-style ^-notation can be used. The C-style notation includes the following characters:
a Bell (ASCII 7) b Backspace (ASCII 8) e Escape (ASCII 27) f Form feed (ASCII 12) n Newline (ASCII 10) r Carriage Return (ASCII 13) t Tab (ASCII 9) v Vertical Tab (ASCII 11) ? Delete (ASCII 127) \nnn Any character (octal notation) xnnn Any character (hexadecimal notation) _ Space \ Backslash () ^ Caret (^) # Hash mark (#)
The default LEFTCODE and RIGHTCODE definitions, which are used by ISO 6429 terminals are:
LEFTCODE e[[ RIGHTCODE m
System-wide configuration file for dircolors.