Unix & Linux Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of Linux, FreeBSD and other Un*x-like operating systems. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm currently using Debian 7 Wheezy, and I've noticed that the colors palette on terminal (which might be useful to identify among a large set of files and folders) are not enabled once I log as root.

Same, I've noticed the tab completion doesn't work the same in this situation.

How can I configure these issues?

share|improve this question
up vote 1 down vote accepted

If you log in as root, it uses roots ~/.bashrc file which is sourced every time you log in as root. In ~/.bashrc file you'll find the following lines

# You may uncomment the following lines if you want `ls' to be colorized:
# export LS_OPTIONS='--color=auto'
# eval "`dircolors`"
# alias ls='ls $LS_OPTIONS'
# alias ll='ls $LS_OPTIONS -l'
# alias l='ls $LS_OPTIONS -lA'

Uncomment these lines accordingly to get the desired result.

Once you've uncommented the lines you'll need to source .bashrc file e.g source ~/.bashrc && ls -l /.

share|improve this answer
Worked perfectly, thanks! Could you explain me a little bit about the sourcing the .bashrc file thing? – diegoaguilar Aug 14 '13 at 14:53
@Diego This is been discussed in superuser.com/questions/49289/what-is-the-bashrc-file – val0x00ff Aug 14 '13 at 14:55
@Diego You need to do that only if you've just modified the file. It's read automatically when bash starts. – Gilles Aug 14 '13 at 21:44

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.