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Whilst trying to configure ls' colors on Cygwin (specifically the distro babun), I found that the custom extension colors that were in the LS_COLORS environment variable weren't being used. Here's an example:

di=34:ln=35:so=32:pi=33:ex=31:bd=34;46:cd=34;43:su=30;41:sg=30;46:tw=30;42:ow=30;43:*.tar=1;31

Normally, the ls command should output white text for every file EXCEPT .tar files, which should be red. However, what I'm getting is white text for everything INCLUDING .tar files. I wonder if it's a problem with MSYS ls, or if it's a problem with my shell (zsh).

Basically, the custom file extension colors that I try and define fall back to the default file color.

Here's the corresponding part of my .zshrc where I've defined the ls alias and run the output of dircolors.

eval "`dircolors /etc/DIR_COLORS`"
alias ls="/bin/ls --color=auto"
  • @Fox I am using ls --color=auto already. I should have been more specific in my example. I meant that the colors I assigned to specific file types weren't being used, and that ls was falling back to the default file color. Sorry if I caused you any confusion. – IllinoisJackson Mar 21 '17 at 21:27
  • @IllinoisJackson: Welcome to Unix & Linux. Please edit your question to include all relevant information (i.e., what you've been posting as comments). – G-Man Mar 21 '17 at 22:16
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To properly set LS_COLORS use:

eval "`dircolors -b /etc/DIR_COLORS`"

I have such definition on the .bashrc file and its effect is:

$ set |grep COLORS
LS_COLORS='rs=0:di=01;34:ln=01;36:mh=00:pi=40;33:so=01;35:do=01;35:bd=40;33;01:cd=40;33;01:or=40;31;01:mi=00:su=37;41:sg=30;43:ca=30;41:tw=30;42:ow=34;42:st=37;44:ex=01;32:*.tar=01;31:*.tgz=01;31:*.arc=01;31:*.arj=01;31:*.taz=01;31:*.lha=01;31:*.lz4=01;31:*.lzh=01;31:*.lzma=01;31:*.tlz=01;31:*.txz=01;31:*.tzo=01;31:*.t7z=01;31:*.zip=01;31:*.z=01;31:*.Z=01;31:*.dz=01;31:*.gz=01;31:*.lrz=01;31:*.lz=01;31:*.lzo=01;31:*.xz=01;31:*.zst=01;31:*.tzst=01;31:*.bz2=01;31:*.bz=01;31:*.tbz=01;31:*.tbz2=01;31:*.tz=01;31:*.deb=01;31:*.rpm=01;31:*.jar=01;31:*.war=01;31:*.ear=01;31:*.sar=01;31:*.rar=01;31:*.alz=01;31:*.ace=01;31:*.zoo=01;31:*.cpio=01;31:*.7z=01;31:*.rz=01;31:*.cab=01;31:*.jpg=01;35:*.jpeg=01;35:*.mjpg=01;35:*.mjpeg=01;35:*.gif=01;35:*.bmp=01;35:*.pbm=01;35:*.pgm=01;35:*.ppm=01;35:*.tga=01;35:*.xbm=01;35:*.xpm=01;35:*.tif=01;35:*.tiff=01;35:*.png=01;35:*.svg=01;35:*.svgz=01;35:*.mng=01;35:*.pcx=01;35:*.mov=01;35:*.mpg=01;35:*.mpeg=01;35:*.m2v=01;35:*.mkv=01;35:*.webm=01;35:*.ogm=01;35:*.mp4=01;35:*.m4v=01;35:*.mp4v=01;35:*.vob=01;35:*.qt=01;35:*.nuv=01;35:*.wmv=01;35:*.asf=01;35:*.rm=01;35:*.rmvb=01;35:*.flc=01;35:*.avi=01;35:*.fli=01;35:*.flv=01;35:*.gl=01;35:*.dl=01;35:*.xcf=01;35:*.xwd=01;35:*.yuv=01;35:*.cgm=01;35:*.emf=01;35:*.ogv=01;35:*.ogx=01;35:*.aac=00;36:*.au=00;36:*.flac=00;36:*.m4a=00;36:*.mid=00;36:*.midi=00;36:*.mka=00;36:*.mp3=00;36:*.mpc=00;36:*.ogg=00;36:*.ra=00;36:*.wav=00;36:*.oga=00;36:*.opus=00;36:*.spx=00;36:*.xspf=00;36:'

enter image description here

  • That didn't seem to work, am I doing something else wrong? Here's how I did it in my .zshrc: alias ls="/bin/ls --color=auto" eval "`dircolors -b /etc/DIR_COLORS`" – IllinoisJackson Mar 21 '17 at 21:47
  • eval should be used before using ls --color – matzeri Mar 21 '17 at 22:21
  • 1
    But it doesn't matter if the alias is defined before the environment variable is set. – Scott Mar 21 '17 at 22:42

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