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I'm trying to move my bash configuration from Ubuntu to Mac OS X and it looks like ls is slightly different. For instance, it won't accept the --color option.

How do I get this to work?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 35 down vote accepted

ls is actually separate from Bash. OS X has a BSD version of ls, which requires -G on the command line, or CLICOLOR (and perhaps LSCOLORS) in the environment.

See man ls for more info.

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Ditto. I've alias ls='ls -G' set in my .bashrc on Snow Leopard. –  ayaz Sep 2 '10 at 15:40

Open the terminal window and type:

alias ls='ls -G'

Then hit Enter and done!

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Use Homebrew.

brew install coreutils

Note that this will throw a prefix of g in front of all the commands (e.g., gls for ls). It gives an option to source a file that will alias these for you automatically.

I wasn't sure if there was an option to install them directly without having to do the whole alias thing, so instead in installed MacPorts and did this.

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You'll need to install an alternate version of ls. The one usually used in linux is from the GNU coreutils project.

You could build and install or install from macports, fink or homebrew.

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That's overkill, in my opinion. You don't need to install a separate version of ls when the same feature is supported slightly differently on the existing version of ls. –  ayaz Sep 2 '10 at 15:41
Good point. Then again, colored ls has never been my taste. alias ls='ls -F' –  Doug Harris Sep 2 '10 at 17:37
alias ls='ls -FG' -- it's the best of both worlds! –  mipadi Sep 2 '10 at 17:42
I do this using homebrew. It's not overkill if you use both Mac and *nix computers and want your terminals to look the same -- this allows you to use the same config files across all computers. It's installed as gls and doesn't replace the original so there's really no downside. –  senderle Mar 31 '14 at 13:14

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