Color LS

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A Ruby script that colorizes the ls output with color and icons. Here are the screenshots of working example on an iTerm2 terminal (Mac OS), oh-my-zsh with powerlevel9k theme and powerline nerd-font + awesome-config font with the Solarized Dark color theme.


If you're interested in knowing the powerlevel9k configuration to get this prompt, have a look at this gist.

Table of contents


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Man pages have been added. Checkout man colorls.


  • With -1 : Lists one entry per line


  • With -a (or) --all : Does not ignore entries starting with '.'


  • With -A (or) --almost-all : Does not ignore entries starting with '.', except ./ and ../


  • With -d (or) --dirs : Shows only directories


  • With -f (or) --files : Shows only files


  • With -h (or) --help : Prints a very helpful help menu


  • With -l (or) --long : Shows in long listing format


  • With -r (or) --report : Shows brief report about number of files and folders shown


  • With --tree (or) --tree=[DEPTH] : Shows tree view of the directory with the specified depth (default 3)


  • With --gs (or) --git-status : Shows git status for each entry


  • With --sd (or) --sort-dirs or --group-directories-first : Shows directories first, followed by files


  • With --sf (or) --sort-files : Shows files first, followed by directories


  • With -t : Sort by modification time, newest first (NEED TO ADD IMAGE)

  • With color options : --light or --dark can be passed as a flag, to choose the appropriate color scheme. By default, the dark color scheme is chosen. In order to tweak any color, read Custom configurations.

Combination of flags

  • Using --gs with -t :


  • Using --gs with -l :


  • Using --sd with -l and -A :


  • Using --non-human-readable with -l :
    • This will print the file sizes in bytes (non-human readable format)



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  1. Install Ruby (preferably, version >= 2.6)
  2. Download and install a Nerd Font. Have a look at the Nerd Font README for installation instructions.

    Note for iTerm2 users - Please enable the Nerd Font at iTerm2 > Preferences > Profiles > Text > Non-ASCII font > Hack Regular Nerd Font Complete.

    Note for HyperJS users - Please add "Hack Nerd Font" Font as an option to fontFamily in your ~/.hyper.js file.

  3. Install the colorls ruby gem with gem install colorls

    Note for rbenv users - In case of load error when using lc, please try the below patch.

    rbenv rehash
  4. Enable tab completion for flags by entering following line to your shell configuration file (~/.bashrc or ~/.zshrc) :

    source $(dirname $(gem which colorls))/
  5. Start using colorls :tada:

  6. Have a look at Recommended configurations and Custom configurations.

Recommended configurations

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  1. To add some short command (say, lc) with some flag options (say, -l, -A, --sd) by default, add this to your shell configuration file (~/.bashrc, ~/.zshrc, etc.) :

    alias lc='colorls -lA --sd'
  2. For changing the icon(s) to other unicode icons of choice (select icons from here), change the YAML files in a text editor of your choice (say, subl)

    subl $(dirname $(gem which colorls))/yaml

Custom configurations

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You can overwrite the existing icons and colors mapping by copying the yaml files from $(dirname $(gem which colorls))/yaml into ~/.config/colorls, and changing them.

  • To overwrite color mapping :

Please have a look at the list of supported color names. You may also use a color hex code as long as it is quoted within the YAML file and prefaced with a # symbol.

Let's say that you're using the dark color scheme and would like to change the color of untracked file (??) in the --git-status flag to yellow. Copy the defaut dark_colors.yaml and change it.

  cp $(dirname $(gem which colorls))/yaml/dark_colors.yaml ~/.config/colorls/dark_colors.yaml

In the ~/.config/colorls/dark_colors.yaml file, change the color set for untracked from darkorange to yellow, and save the change.

  untracked: yellow

Or, using hex color codes:

  untracked: '#FFFF00'
  • To overwrite icon mapping :

Please have a look at the list of supported icons. Let's say you want to add an icon for swift files. Copy the default files.yaml and change it.

  cp $(dirname $(gem which colorls))/yaml/files.yaml ~/.config/colorls/files.yaml`

In the ~/.config/colorls/files.yaml file, add a new icon / change an existing icon, and save the change.

  swift: "\uF179"


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Want to update to the latest version of colorls?

gem update colorls


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Want to uninstall and revert back to the old style? No issues (sob). Please feel free to open an issue regarding how we can enhance colorls.

gem uninstall colorls


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Your contributions are always welcome! Please have a look at the contribution guidelines first. :tada:


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The MIT License (MIT) 2017 - Athitya Kumar. Please have a look at the for more details.