Linux ls Colour-coding in PuTTY CodeUnit 05 NOV 2009

PuTTY is a damn useful app for when it comes to gaining remote access into a machine via SSH or Telnet, and has more than proven its worth to serious geeks over the years since it was first released.

But here’s a question that you’ll be asking if you are new to the whole command line SSH into Linux access thing:

“Just what does all the colour-coding (when it comes to folder listings) displayed in PuTTY mean?”

Well, basically the colour-coding is to expediate file type recognition. For example, the default colour set is as follows (thanks Google!):

  • * Normal file: White (or the default colour used by the command line window)
  • * Directory: Blue
  • * Symbolic link: Cyan
  • * Pipe: Yellow
  • * Socket: Magenta
  • * Block device driver: Bold yellow foreground, with black background
  • * Character device driver: Bold yellow foreground, with black background
  • * Orphaned syminks: Blinking Bold white, with red background
  • * Missing links: Blinking Bold white, with red background
  • * Archives or compressed files: Red (e.g. .tar, .gz, .zip, .rpm)
  • * Image files: Magenta (.jpg, gif, bmp, png, tif)

To manipulate or view just what colours your system is spitting out you, simply pay a visit to /etc/profile.d/colors.sh and /etc/profile.d/colors.csh

There, hope that helps! :)

(Tip: If you wish to disable the list colouring, simply remove the alias that attaches ls –color=tty to ls – run `alias` to see what I’m referring to.)

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About Craig Lotter

Software developer, husband and dad to two little girls. Writer behind An Exploring South African. I don't have time for myself any more.