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dircolors colorscheme for GNU ls
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dircolors.moonshine README Oct 13, 2016

256 Color Theme "Moonshine" for GNU ls

This is a 256-color dircolors colorscheme for GNU ls.

It is heavily based on and inspired by dircolors-solarized a similar colorscheme by Sebastian Tramp. Please visit the original theme for both better documentation and alternative (original) version.


To make ls use the color file add this to your .bashrc:

eval `dircolors /path/to/dircolors.moonshine`

And make sure that ls is using --colors=auto:

alias ls='ls --group-directories-first --color=auto'


Here is a sample screenshot displaying all of the used colors.


Explanation for all the choices:

  • Directories are dark green bold. This color is easy on the eyes and works well for majority of cases when working in terminal, like writing code. Admittedly they won't stand out among lots of other files. For this reason I recommend using this ls alias:

alias ls='ls --group-directories-first --color=auto'

So they are always at the front of ls output.

  • Named Pipes are brown inversed. Special enough being bright (inversed) and brown color to suggest that they are related to performing some kind of function (see colors for code files below).

  • Working Links are light green inversed. They are special enough to justify being bright. And the green color shows the link is not broken.

  • Broken Links are red inversed. Same as for Working links, except the red color indicates that the link is broken and special attention is needed.

  • Executable Files are red. They are important, executable, with a potential to change something. Red to notice.

  • Video Files are orange. This is simply to stand out. Orange felt like a great color for media.

  • Audio Files are light orange. Light orange puts them nicely in between the darker video files and yellow image files.

  • Image Files are yellow. They are similar in nature to other media files but are more light weight and more frequent. So a lighter tone of "orange" (yellow) was chosen for them.

  • Document Files are light blue. These are mainly readable files (like pdf, doc, html). White (color of paper) is often associated with documents but white was left for plain text. Light blue looked like close enough to white. html inclusion in this category can be debated. Personally I never work with html files as code files. Web developers are better of moving html to code categories.

  • Plain Text are white. This color is also chosen for all non-specified files. The reason for this choice is that from my experience the files with unspecified extensions are typically plain text files as well.

  • Archive Files are violet. This is an unusual color. Again mainly to stand out.

  • Special Interest Files are white inversed. This is reserved for files that should be noticed and read like READMEs, TODOs, NOTEs.

  • Storage Files are light grey. This includes outputs from various programs and files that can be used as inputs. Mainly files for storing all kids of data. Examples are csv, xls, sav.

  • Temporary Files are dark grey. These are mainly the files that are produced as a side effect and are not the final output of a process. Examples are log, tmp, cache.

  • Usual Code Files are light brown. These are source files of various programming languages.

  • Library/Literal Code Files are brown. Both library source files and files that produce documents (like tex, rmd). The color was chosen to distinguish them from usual source files when they are in the same category but also make it easy enough to quickly group them as "code" when they are scattered among various kinds of other files.

  • Special Code Files are dark brown. This class contains configuration files that do nothing on their own but are there to set parameters. Makefiles are in this category.

Changing Colors And Filetype Classes

The colors were selected for my personal use, they might need some changing in order to better suite the needs of others.

Changing Filetypes

One such example is the color of html files. For me they are always a simple readable document and were included among other documents like pdf.If someone is writing html they might be better of moving html to Usual Code or Literal Code class. To achieve this - delete html filetype from Documents category and add it to Code category. Don't forget to adjust the color string to match the color of the new category.

Changing Colors

To change colors - change the color string that follows the filetype. In order to change the color of the whole category - change it for every filetype inside that category separately. Click here for a useful color guide


Below are some screenshots.

Media files

Messy folder with different media files - with and without coloring.


Neovim Source

Browsing NeoVim source base. With and without coloring.


You May Also Like

Similar themes are available for a few other terminal programs:

  1. Moonshine for vim text editor
  2. Moonshine for mutt email client
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