dir_colors - configuration file for dircolors(1)
The program ls(1) uses the environment variable LS_COLORS to determine the colors in which
the filenames are to be displayed. This environment variable is usually set by a command
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 over-
ridden 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 (#) is treated as a comment, if the 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, preceded
by one or more TERM statements which specify the terminal types (as given by the TERM
environment variable) the following declarations apply to. It is always possible to over-
ride 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
(Slackware only; ignored by GNU dircolors(1).) Specifies that colorization should
always be enabled (yes or all), never enabled (no or none), or enabled only if the
output is a terminal (tty). The default is no.
(Slackware only; ignored by GNU dircolors(1).) Specifies that eight-bit ISO 8859
characters should be enabled by default. For compatibility reasons, this can also
be specified as 1 for yes or 0 for no. The default is no.
(Slackware only; ignored by GNU dircolors(1).) 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 orphaned 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
Specifies the color used for a FIFO (named pipe).
Specifies the color used for a socket.
(Supported since file-utils 4.1) Specifies the color used for a door (Solaris 2.5
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.
Same as *.extension. Specifies the color used for any file that ends in .exten-
sion. Note that the period is included in the extension, which makes it impossible
to specify an extension not starting with a period, such as ~ for emacs backup
files. This form should be considered obsolete.
ISO 6429 (ANSI) COLOR SEQUENCES
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 out-
put or emulate them. ls uses ISO 6429 codes by default, assuming colorization is enabled.
ISO 6429 color sequences are composed of sequences of numbers separated by semicolons.
The most common codes are:
0 to restore default color
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
A few terminal programs do not recognize the default properly. If all text gets colorized
after you do a directory listing, change the NORMAL and FILE codes to the numerical codes
for your normal foreground and background colors.
OTHER TERMINAL TYPES (ADVANCED CONFIGURATION)
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.
NOTE: If the ENDCODE is defined in the global section of the setup file, it cannot be
undefined in a terminal-specific section of the file. This means any NORMAL definition
will have no effect. A different ENDCODE can, however, be specified, which would have the
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 nota-
tion 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)
\\ Backslash (\)
\^ Caret (^)
\# Hash mark (#)
Please note that escapes are necessary to enter a space, backslash, caret, or any control
character anywhere in the string, as well as a hash mark as the first character.
The default LEFTCODE and RIGHTCODE definitions, which are used by ISO 6429 terminals are:
The default ENDCODE is undefined.
dircolors(1), ls(1), stty(1), xterm(1)
System-wide configuration file.
Per-user configuration file.
This page describes the dir_colors file format as used in the fileutils-4.1 package; other
versions may differ slightly. Mail corrections and additions to email@example.com. Report bugs
in the program to firstname.lastname@example.org.
GNU fileutils 4.1 2001-12-26 DIR_COLORS(5)