10.4 dircolors: Color setup for ls

dircolors outputs a sequence of shell commands to set up the terminal for color output from ls (and dir, etc.). Typical usage:

eval "$(dircolors [option]… [file])"

If file is specified, dircolors reads it to determine which colors to use for which file types and extensions. Otherwise, a precompiled database is used. For details on the format of these files, run ‘dircolors --print-database’.

To make dircolors read a ~/.dircolors file if it exists, you can put the following lines in your ~/.bashrc (or adapt them to your favorite shell):

test -r $d && eval "$(dircolors $d)"

The output is a shell command to set the LS_COLORS environment variable. You can specify the shell syntax to use on the command line, or dircolors will guess it from the value of the SHELL environment variable.

The program accepts the following options. Also see Common options.


Output Bourne shell commands. This is the default if the SHELL environment variable is set and does not end with ‘csh’ or ‘tcsh’.


Output C shell commands. This is the default if SHELL ends with csh or tcsh.


Print the (compiled-in) default color configuration database. This output is itself a valid configuration file, and is fairly descriptive of the possibilities.


Print the LS_COLORS entries on separate lines, each colored as per the color they represent.

An exit status of zero indicates success, and a nonzero value indicates failure.