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exa as ls replacement

#commandline thursday, november 09, 2017

ls is one of the most commonly used Unix commands. Its options for colored output are, however, limited. Since I spent a lot of time navigating in the commandline I searched for a substitute that provides better readability.

exa is a replacement written in Rust, that does a similar job, but is much more customizable.

Compare the following outputs of ls

ls directory output

…​and exa:

exa directory output

The coloring of the second output provides slightly better readability and makes it easy to identify the file names. The color of the dates for example is slightly darker than the rest. Of course it makes sense to alias ls, l, or whatever you’re using to the new command to avoid typing too much.

The project is open source, so you can clone and modify it yourself.


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