The FreeBSD console is colorless by default – but most terminals and SSH clients these days support color. The benefits of colorizing your console should be pretty obvious. It makes your life a little easier – you don’t have to do as much mental processing.
Below is a typical “ls -al” output, without color. There’s a directory, an executable, an suid executable, a regular file, and a symlink. If the files weren’t named like that, you’d have to do some mental processing to figure out which is which.
Now, take the same directory, but with color enabled:
That makes things easier, doesn’t it? And that’s just for ls.
Grep can also support color output. Here’s a grep without color:
For colors in ls, you need to set the CLICOLOR environment variable to “YES” – and for colors in grep, you just need to alias the grep command to ‘grep –color’.
I use bash as my shell, so my .bashrc looks like this:
alias grep='grep --color' export CLICOLOR='yes'
So – there it is. That’s all I’ve got for now, but I intend to look for more ways to add a little color to your shell.