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Colours with Linux terminals

Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen,

v1.4, 7 August 1997

Most Linux distributions have a 'ls' command for listing the contents of a directory that can visually enhance their output by using different colours, but configuring this to taste may not be a trivial task. This document explains the various aspects and approaches of altering the setup by configuring existing software, plus locations of alternative software usually not included with Slackware or RedHat, which may be used on most versions of Unix. The HTML version is also available from my own source at

1. Introduction

2. Quickstart for the impatient

3. Do I have it at all?

4. Which colours is there to choose from?

5. How to configure colours with ls

6. How to change the text-mode default from white-on-black

7. Software

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