Our crew is replaceable. Your package isn't.

Making The Command Line Useful

Thu 09 June 2016


OSX uses BSD ls utility. To make the command more appealing, use:

alias ls='ls -G'


G: colorized output a: displays files beginning with a . h: human readable

To edit the colors you can:

export CLICOLOR=1
export LSCOLORS=ExFxCxDxBxegedabagacad

The string is 22 characters long and comprised of 11 two letter orders as described below.

The color designators are as follows:

Ltr Color
a black
b red
c green
d brown
e blue
f magenta
g cyan
h light grey
A bold black, usually shows up as dark grey
B bold red
C bold green
D bold brown, usually shows up as yellow
E bold blue
F bold magenta
G bold cyan
H bold light grey; looks like bright white
x default foreground or background

The order of the attributes are as follows:

  1. directory
  2. symbolic link
  3. socket
  4. pipe
  5. executable
  6. block special
  7. character special
  8. executable with setuid bit set
  9. executable with setgid bit set
  10. directory writable to others, with sticky bit
  11. directory writable to others, without sticky bit


You can also use the GNU coreutils (which contains ls) however, not sure this is such a great idea because it contains a lot of other utilities too. You could probably install it and just do:

alias ls='/usr/local/opt/coreutils/libexec/gnubin/ls'

back to the top