Fixing unreadable ls output
I encountered some readability issues of certain kinds of files displayed by the
ls command on my ArchLinux terminal, specifically with other-writable (
Thanks to this StackExchange question, I learned that it's possible to change the
ls output colors by specifying an environment variable
LS_COLORS on the shell profile (e.g.
In your shell user profile, make an entry that look like this:
# sets directory text color to purple export LS_COLORS=$LS_COLORS:'di=0;35:'
You can add more types separated by colon:
# change directory and symlink colors export LS_COLORS=$LS_COLORS:'di=1;33:ln=36'
Recommended color choices
Some quick styles that you can copy-paste:
Blue = 34 Green = 32 Light Green = 1;32 Cyan = 36 Red = 31 Purple = 35 Brown = 33 Yellow = 1;33 Bold White = 1;37 Light Grey = 0;37 Black = 30 Dark Grey= 1;30
Possible foreground colors
30 = black 31 = red 32 = green 33 = orange 34 = blue 35 = purple 36 = cyan 37 = grey 90 = dark grey 91 = light red 92 = light green 93 = yellow 94 = light blue 95 = light purple 96 = turquoise 97 = white
Possible background colors
40 = black background 41 = red background 42 = green background 43 = orange background 44 = blue background 45 = purple background 46 = cyan background 47 = grey background 100 = dark grey background 101 = light red background 102 = light green background 103 = yellow background 104 = light blue background 105 = light purple background 106 = turquoise background 107 = white background
0 = default colour 1 = bold 4 = underlined 5 = flashing text (disabled on some terminals) 7 = reverse field (exchange foreground and background color) 8 = concealed (invisible)
bd = (BLOCK, BLK) Block device (buffered) special file cd = (CHAR, CHR) Character device (unbuffered) special file di = (DIR) Directory do = (DOOR) [Door] ex = (EXEC) Executable file (ie. has 'x' set in permissions) fi = (FILE) Normal file ln = (SYMLINK, LINK, LNK) Symbolic link. If you set this to ‘target’ instead of a numerical value, the color is as for the file pointed to. mi = (MISSING) Non-existent file pointed to by a symbolic link (visible when you type ls -l) no = (NORMAL, NORM) Normal (non-filename) text. Global default, although everything should be something or = (ORPHAN) Symbolic link pointing to an orphaned non-existent file ow = (OTHER_WRITABLE) Directory that is other-writable (o+w) and not sticky pi = (FIFO, PIPE) Named pipe (fifo file) sg = (SETGID) File that is setgid (g+s) so = (SOCK) Socket file st = (STICKY) Directory with the sticky bit set (+t) and not other-writable su = (SETUID) File that is setuid (u+s) tw = (STICKY_OTHER_WRITABLE) Directory that is sticky and other-writable (+t,o+w) *.extension = Every file using this extension e.g. *.rpm = files with the ending .rpm
After adding a custom
LS_COLORS to my
o+w directories output in
ls is now more readable.