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See BLT.

.dir_colors: a user-edited configuration file that is used with the ls command to display special files or directories in bold print or different colors than the rest of the files or directories, making searches for the files easier by having them stand out from the rest of the listing.

There are two optional ways that files in an ls listing can be marked to help identify their type -- by a color code and/or by a special character at the end of the file name. Here is the beginning of a table: (The colors listed are those used in kde, and I'm assuming they are fairly standard.)

File Type Color Character Comments
ordinary black na
directory blue "/"
executable lt. green "*"
link light blue "@" "@" in a short listing, "->" and the linked file in a long listing (ls -l)
failed link flashing red
archive red tar, gz, zip, etc.
pipe ? " " A pipe
? ? "=" Other than the above?

The special characters are displayed when the -F parameter is passed to ls (or ls -F is aliased to ls).

There are more!

Aside: I suspect that .dir_colors (in a user's home directory) is a user's personal color file, and that /etc/DIR_COLORS is the skeleton file for all users.


  • HaroldSharp - 30 Jan 2002
  • RandyKramer - 31 Jan 2002
  • <If you edit this page, add your name here, move this to the next line>
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Topic revision: r7 - 2003-09-07 - AnitaLewis
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