I like using ls --color=auto and I know how to use dircolors to change the colors of ls's output. I want ls to display read-only files in a color different than "normal" files but don't see an easy way to do that. Have I overlooked something or is this not possible with the standard ls?

1 Answer 1


This is not possible with “standard” ls (or rather, versions of ls supporting colours, and using dircolors, so GNU ls). ls/dircolors supports a number of non-extension attributes which can determine colours, but those don’t include “read-only”. You can see the list of attributes in the dircolors source code, and their description in the built-in example dircolors database; to see the attributes supported in your own version of dircolors and ls, run

dircolors --print-database

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