the color of files....

Posted on 2003-12-10
Last Modified: 2013-12-16
Hello Experts,

     I am in redhat .... I guess 9.x ?! For some reason, the setting makes different kinds of files having different colors. The *.tex file is yellow .... so light that I can barely see it ! How do I change the colors of those files (I mean the file name when we do "ls") ..... I hope I asked the questions in the right category ..... Thanks very much !!!

meow .....
Question by:meow00
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Expert Comment

ID: 9914309
On my system it is at /etc/DIR_COLORS
You can edit that file or create a personal .dir_colors file in your home directory

Author Comment

ID: 9914405

    Thanks for the answers .... but I still can not fix it yet. The following is my /etc/DIR_COLORS. However, I didn't see ".tex", so how do I change it ? Also, what does it mean by "01:32" ???? Help ! and Thanks a lot !!!

# List any file extensions like '.gz' or '.tar' that you would like ls
# to colorize below. Put the extension, a space, and the color init string.
# (and any comments you want to add after a '#')
.cmd 01;32 # executables (bright green)
.exe 01;32
.com 01;32
.btm 01;32
.bat 01;32
.sh  01;32
.csh 01;32
.tar 01;31 # archives or compressed (bright red)
.tgz 01;31
.arj 01;31
.taz 01;31
.lzh 01;31
.zip 01;31
.z   01;31
.Z   01;31
.gz  01;31
.bz2 01;31
.bz  01;31
.tz  01;31
.rpm 01;31
.cpio 01;31
.jpg 01;35 # image formats
.gif 01;35
.bmp 01;35
.xbm 01;35
.xpm 01;35
.png 01;35
.tif 01;35

Expert Comment

ID: 9914509
Try adding a new line for .tex (it currently probably is using some default value)

from :

is a configuration file that controls the global color settings for the ls

/etc/DIR_COLORS can be copied into a /home/$HOME/.dir_colors and modified
there to overide /etc/DIR_COLORS for the user of $HOME.

The selection of colors in those two config files seems to be limited to
0 black
1 red
2 green
3 yellow
4 blue
5 magenta
6 cyan
7 white

For each file item designated a foreground and a background color may be set.
Foreground colors are indicated by a leading 3 and background colors by a
leading 4 and ; is the separator. # starts a comment.

Also, a text style may be set:
00 none
01 bold
04 underscore
05 blink
07 reverse (I guess this inverts the fg color with the bg color)
08 concealed
01 underline


DIR      01;40;36      #directories: bold text, black bg, cyan

I have found the colors green, yellow, cyan, white and (somewhat) magenta
show up better against black than blue or red do against black. Oddly, when I
indicate 43 or 33 (yellow bg or yellow fg) I get white on my PPC system.
Don't know why. Also, I tried 04 to underscore directories but it didn't work.

Changes to DIR_COLORS do not take affect until X11 is restarted or, in the
case of non-X11 terminals, until I re-spawn the tty by killing its process
(kill ####). I do a ps command to find the tty process # to kill. Or reboot,
but rebooting is tedious.

LVL 51

Assisted Solution

ahoffmann earned 20 total points
ID: 9914842
the environment variable LS_COLORS seems to be your friend
it contains, sparated by : (colon), what you see in DIR_COLORS, except that extension and valu is separated by =
and so on ..

Accepted Solution

arjanh earned 130 total points
ID: 9916098
The LS_COLORS environment variable is generated from the DIR_COLORS file. If I change that file and login again (or reload the /etc/profile), the changes in the DIR_COLORS file are present in the LS_COLORS env var.

On my system the .tex files are just shown white text on black, which is the default. But by adding e.g.
.tex 01;47
they become bold red, which is very well visible :)

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