colorls – turbocharged alternative to ls

The part of the operating system responsible for managing files and directories is called the file system. It organizes our data into files, which hold information, and directories (also called ‘folders’), which hold files or other directories. Several commands are frequently used to create, inspect, rename, and delete files and directories.

One of these commands is ls, which prints the names of the files and directories in the current directory. A directory is really just a file. It’s a special file with special rules. The ls utility appeared in the first version of AT&T UNIX.

Are you looking to liven up your shell? Want a bit more beauty on your terminal? colorls might be the ticket. colorls is a command-line utility that aims to improve on ls. color is written in Ruby.

Command-Line InterfaceThe Command Line Interface (CLI) is a way of interacting with your computer. To harness all the power of Linux, it’s highly recommended mastering the interface. It’s true the CLI is often perceived as a barrier for users migrating to Linux, particularly if they’re grown up using GUI software exclusively.

While Linux rarely forces anyone to use the CLI, some tasks are better suited to this method of interaction, offering inducements like superior scripting opportunities, remote access, and being far more frugal with a computer’s resources.


The project’s GitHub repository has an installation section which explains how to install colorls. You’ll need Ruby, font-awesome and/or powerline nerd-font installed on your system. See the summary page for a link.

For Arch-based distros, there’s a convenient package in the Arch User Repository.

Next page: Page 2 – In Operation

Pages in this article:
Page 1 – Introduction / Installation
Page 2 – In Operation
Page 3 – Summary

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