When I run 'ls -laGp' command in macOS some of the folders are highlighted with this color. What does that mean?

I researched but couldn't find any documentation or anything. If you let me know which sources I should check first in these situations it would be awesome.

screenshot mustard highlight

  • Look up CLICOLORS and LSCOLORS in your ls man page. But I think to give you a definitive answer we would need to know what terminal emulator you're using.
    – jesse_b
    Commented Sep 14, 2019 at 15:35

1 Answer 1


From the BSD ls man page:

 LSCOLORS        The value of this variable describes what color to use for which attribute when colors are enabled with CLICOLOR.  This string is a concatena-
                 tion of pairs of the format fb, where f is the foreground color and b is the background color.

                 The color designators are as follows:

                       a     black
                       b     red
                       c     green
                       d     brown
                       e     blue
                       f     magenta
                       g     cyan
                       h     light grey
                       A     bold black, usually shows up as dark grey
                       B     bold red
                       C     bold green
                       D     bold brown, usually shows up as yellow
                       E     bold blue
                       F     bold magenta
                       G     bold cyan
                       H     bold light grey; looks like bright white
                       x     default foreground or background

                 Note that the above are standard ANSI colors.  The actual display may differ depending on the color capabilities of the terminal in use.

                 The order of the attributes are as follows:

                       1.   directory
                       2.   symbolic link
                       3.   socket
                       4.   pipe
                       5.   executable
                       6.   block special
                       7.   character special
                       8.   executable with setuid bit set
                       9.   executable with setgid bit set
                       10.  directory writable to others, with sticky bit
                       11.  directory writable to others, without sticky bit

                 The default is "exfxcxdxbxegedabagacad", i.e. blue foreground and default background for regular directories, black foreground and red back-
                 ground for setuid executables, etc.

The default is "exfxcxdxbxegedabagacad"

The above means that a "11. directory writable to others, without sticky bit" will be ac or black foreground with a green background.

Note that the directories highlighted mustard in your example are all writable to others while the non-highlighted directories are not.

  • FWIW the "mustard" color is 100% green to me but I am partially color blind so I will head to others saying it's "mustard"
    – jesse_b
    Commented Sep 14, 2019 at 20:40

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .