Colorizing your terminal and shell environment?

I spend most of my time working in Unix environments and using terminal emulators. I try to use color on the command line, because color makes the output more useful and intuitive.

What options exist to add color to my terminal environment? What tricks do you use? What pitfalls have you encountered?

Unfortunately, support for color varies depending on terminal type, OS, TERM setting, utility, buggy implementations, etc.

Here are some tips from my setup, after a lot of experimentation:

  1. I tend to set TERM=xterm-color, which is supported on most hosts (but not all).
  2. I work on a number of different hosts, different OS versions, etc. I use everything from macOS X, Ubuntu Linux, RHEL/CentOS/Scientific Linux and FreeBSD. I’m trying to keep things simple and generic, if possible.
  3. I do a bunch of work using GNU screen, which adds another layer of fun.
  4. Many OSs set things like dircolors and by default, and I don’t want to modify this on a hundred different hosts. So I try to stick with the defaults. Instead, I tweak my terminal’s color configuration.
  5. Use color for some Unix commands (ls, grep, less, vim) and the Bash prompt. These commands seem to use the standard “ANSI escape sequences“. For example:

    alias less='less --RAW-CONTROL-CHARS'
    export LS_OPTS='--color=auto'
    alias ls='ls ${LS_OPTS}'

I’ll post my .bashrc and answer my own question Jeopardy Style.

Asked By: Stefan Lasiewski


Set a bold/colored prompt. From and the BashFAQ

# 'tput bold' will work regardless of the foreground and background colors.
# Place the tput output into variables, so they are only execd once.
bold=$(tput bold) # This could also be a color.
reset=$(tput sgr0)
export PS1="u@[$bold]h[$reset]:w $ "

I’ve also managed to find color settings which are widely supported, and which don’t print gobbledygook characters in older environments (even FreeBSD4!), and seems to work fine if TERM=vt100, xterm, xterm-color. (For the most part). From my .bashrc:

# Set some options, based on the OS
OS=`uname -s` 

case "$OS" in
    "SunOS" ) 
        # Solaris ls doesn't allow color, so use special characters
        alias  ls='ls ${LS_OPTS}'
    "Linux" )
        # GNU ls supports colors!
        # See dircolors to customize colors
        export LS_OPTS='--color=auto' 
        alias  ls='ls ${LS_OPTS}'

        # Get color support for 'less'
        export LESS="--RAW-CONTROL-CHARS"

        # Use colors for less, man, etc.
        [[ -f ~/.LESS_TERMCAP ]] && . ~/.LESS_TERMCAP

        export GREP_OPTIONS="--color=auto"


        # Most FreeBSD & Apple Darwin supports colors
        export CLICOLOR=true
        # Get color support for 'less'
        export LESS="--RAW-CONTROL-CHARS"

        # Use colors for less, man, etc.
        [[ -f ~/.LESS_TERMCAP ]] && . ~/.LESS_TERMCAP

        export GREP_OPTIONS="--color=auto"
    * ) 
        echo "Unknown OS [$OS]"
Answered By: Stefan Lasiewski

Here are a couple of things you can do:

Editors + Code
A lot of editors have syntax highlighting support. vim and emacs have it on by default. You can also enable it under nano.

You can also syntax highlight code on the terminal by using Pygments as a command-line tool.

grep --color=auto highlights all matches. You can also use export GREP_OPTIONS='--color=auto' to make it persistent without an alias. If you use --color=always, it’ll use colour even when piping, which confuses things.


ls --color=always

Colors specified by:

export LS_COLORS='rs=0:di=01;34:ln=01;36:mh=00:pi=40;33'

(hint: dircolors can be helpful)

You can set your PS1 (shell prompt) to use colours. For example:

PS1='e[33;1mu@h: e[31mWe[0m$ '

Will produce a PS1 like:

[yellow]lucas@ubuntu: [red]~[normal]$

You can get really creative with this. As an idea:

PS1='e[se[0;0He[1;33mh    tne[1;32mThis is my computere[u[u@h:  w]$ '

Puts a bar at the top of your terminal with some random info. (For best results, also use alias clear="echo -e 'e[2Jnn'".)

Getting Rid of Escape Sequences

If something is stuck outputting colour when you don’t want it to, I use this sed line to strip the escape sequences:

sed "s/[^[[0-9;]*[a-zA-Z]//gi"

If you want a more authentic experience, you can also get rid of lines starting with e[8m, which instructs the terminal to hide the text. (Not widely supported.)

sed "s/^[^[8m.*$//gi"

Also note that those ^[s should be actual, literal ^[s. You can type them by pressing ^V^[ in bash, that is Ctrl + V, Ctrl + [.

Answered By: Lucas Jones

grep and ls have already been mentioned, if you want a lot more colors check out Generic Coloriser, its initial purpose was to colorize logfiles, but right out of the box it also colorizes ping, traceroute, gcc, make, netstat, diff, last, ldap, and cvs.

It’s easily extended if you know regexes. I’ve added ps and nmap to the list (if you get into grc I’ll be more than glad to share the .conf files for those two tools)

(Btw, to install it via synaptic, pacman, and alike you might have better luck searching for “grc”)

Answered By: Sygo

I also use:

export TERM=xterm-color
export GREP_OPTIONS='--color=auto' GREP_COLOR='1;32'
export CLICOLOR=1
export LSCOLORS=ExFxCxDxBxegedabagacad

And if you like colorizing your prompt, defined color vars can be useful:

export COLOR_NC='e[0m' # No Color
export COLOR_BLACK='e[0;30m'
export COLOR_GRAY='e[1;30m'
export COLOR_RED='e[0;31m'
export COLOR_LIGHT_RED='e[1;31m'
export COLOR_GREEN='e[0;32m'
export COLOR_LIGHT_GREEN='e[1;32m'
export COLOR_BROWN='e[0;33m'
export COLOR_YELLOW='e[1;33m'
export COLOR_BLUE='e[0;34m'
export COLOR_LIGHT_BLUE='e[1;34m'
export COLOR_PURPLE='e[0;35m'
export COLOR_LIGHT_PURPLE='e[1;35m'
export COLOR_CYAN='e[0;36m'
export COLOR_LIGHT_CYAN='e[1;36m'
export COLOR_LIGHT_GRAY='e[0;37m'
export COLOR_WHITE='e[1;37m'

And then my prompt is something like this:

case $TERM in
         local TITLEBAR='[33]0;u ${NEW_PWD}07]'
         local TITLEBAR=""

local UC=$COLOR_WHITE               # user's color
[ $UID -eq "0" ] && UC=$COLOR_RED   # root's color


$(vcprompt) is calling a python script in my ~/sbin which prints version control information about the current path. It includes support for Mercurial, Git, Svn, Cvs, etc. The author of the script has the source here.

Bash prompt screenshot

This is the full source of my prompt configuration:

Answered By: Kris

There’s a good tool for setting up your colours for the ls command –

It provides a web-based UI to easily build your desired $LS_COLORS values by selecting colors:

screenshot of lscolors' web page

Answered By: Rob Cowell

Some text decoration (bold) to easily differentiate between root and non-root shell. For Zsh:

if test $UID = 0
    then PS1="%B${PS1}%b "

For Bash:

if test $UID = 0
    then PS1="33[1m${PS1}33[0m"
Answered By: Mischa Arefiev

I just wondered the same thing. I have my own approach, but I’m looking for alternatives.

I write bash wrappers around program calls and pipe their output though sed. What I like about sed is that it will modify and echo each line right away => not much buffering. However, I dislike that for every call to a wrapped program the sed code is parsed and compiled.

For example this is what I do to color the output of ip:

# Colorcodes
NORMAL=`echo -e '33[0m'`
RED=`echo -e '33[31m'`
GREEN=`echo -e '33[0;32m'`
LGREEN=`echo -e '33[1;32m'`
BLUE=`echo -e '33[0;34m'`
LBLUE=`echo -e '33[1;34m'`
YELLOW=`echo -e '33[0;33m'`

# command: ip
# highlight ip addresses, default route and interface names


IP_CMD=$(which ip)

function colored_ip()
${IP_CMD} $@ | sed 
    -e "s/inet [^ ]+ /${IP4}&${NORMAL}/g"
    -e "s/inet6 [^ ]+ /${IP6}&${NORMAL}/g"
    -e "s/^default via .*$/${DEFAULT_ROUTE}&${NORMAL}/"
    -e "s/^([0-9]+: +)([^ t]+)/1${IFACE}2${NORMAL}/"

alias ip='colored_ip'
Answered By: Bananguin

You can try a project that helps on colorizing scripts output also, its named ScriptEchoColor at source forge:


echoc "@{lr}text output in light red"
echoc "@{bLGu}text outpus in blue, light green background and underlined"
echoc "you @{lr} can @{bLGu} mix @{-a} it all too"
echoc -x "ls" #executes ls command and colorizes it automatically to be easy to be seen

The automatic colors are configurable.

This is an example done with it:
enter image description here

Answered By: Aquarius Power

Colors for man pages (more detail):

function _colorman() {
    LESS_TERMCAP_mr=$(tput rev) 
    LESS_TERMCAP_mh=$(tput dim) 
    LESS_TERMCAP_ZN=$(tput ssubm) 
    LESS_TERMCAP_ZV=$(tput rsubm) 
    LESS_TERMCAP_ZO=$(tput ssupm) 
    LESS_TERMCAP_ZW=$(tput rsupm) 
alias man="LANG=C _colorman man"
function perldoc() { command perldoc -n less "$@" |man -l -; }

Colors for grep (1;32 is bright green, see other posts here for other colors):

GREP_OPTS='--color=auto'      # for aliases since $GREP_OPTIONS is deprecated
GREP_COLOR='1;32'             # (legacy) bright green rather than default red
# (new) Matching text in Selected line = green, line numbers dark yellow
alias grep='grep $GREP_OPTS'
alias egrep='grep -E $GREP_OPTS'
alias fgrep='LC_ALL=C grep -F $GREP_OPTS'

Using LC_ALL=C for fgrep can provide a 140x performance boost

More colors for GNU ls:

# use the config at ~/.dircolors if it exists, otherwise generate anew
eval "$( dircolors --sh $(find ~/.dircolors -size +0 2>/dev/null) )"

# Usage: _ls_colors_add BASE NEW [NEW...]
# Have LS color given NEW extensions the way BASE extension is colored
_ls_colors_add() {
  local BASE_COLOR="${LS_COLORS##*:?.$1=}" NEW
  if [ "$LS_COLORS" != "$BASE_COLOR" ]; then
    for NEW in "$@"; do
      if [ "$LS_COLORS" = "${LS_COLORS#*.$NEW=}" ]; then
  export LS_COLORS

_ls_colors_add zip jar xpi            # archives
_ls_colors_add jpg ico JPG PNG webp   # images
_ls_colors_add ogg opus               # audio (opus now included by default)

export CLICOLOR=1   # BSD auto-color trigger (like  ls -G  but for everything)
if ls -ld --color=auto / >/dev/null 2>&1
  then alias ls="ls -ph --color=auto"
  else alias ls="ls -ph"

Install grc (Generic Colouriser) and add it to your aliases:

if type grc grcat >/dev/null 2>&1; then
  colourify() {  # using this as a function allows easier calling down lower
    if [[ -t 1 || -n "$CLICOLOR_FORCE" ]]
      then ${GRC:-grc} -es --colour=auto "$@"
      else "$@"

  # loop through known commands plus all those with named conf files
  for cmd in g++ head ld ping6 tail traceroute6 `locate grc/conf.`; do
    cmd="${cmd##*grc/conf.}"  # we want just the command
    type "$cmd" >/dev/null 2>&1 && alias "$cmd"="colourify $cmd"

  # This needs run-time detection. We even fake the 'command not found' error.
  configure() {
    if [[ -x ./configure ]]; then
      colourify ./configure "$@"
      echo "configure: command not found" >&2
      return 127

  unalias ll 2>/dev/null
  ll() {
    if [[ -n "$CLICOLOR_FORCE" || -t 1 ]]; then  # re-implement --color=auto
      ls -l --color=always "$@" |grcat
      return ${PIPESTATUS[0]} ${pipestatus[1]} # exit code of ls via bash or zsh
    ls -l "$@"

Colors for diff: Too much content for a function, use a script and alias it in your rc file (unnecessary if you installed grc):

use strict;
use warnings;

open (DIFF, "-|", "diff", @ARGV) or die $!;

my $ydiff = 1;
while (<DIFF>) {
  if (not -t 1) {
  $ydiff = 0 if /^[ <>@+-]/ or ($. == 1 && /^d+[a-z]{1,5}d+$/);
  my $color = "";
  if (! $ydiff && /^[@+-<>]/) {
    $color = (/^[<-](?!--$)/ ? 1 : /^[+>]/ ? 2 : 5);
  } elsif ($ydiff && /t {6}([<|>])(?:t|$)/) {
    $color = ($1 eq "<" ? 1 : $1 eq ">" ? 2 : 4);
  $color ? printf ("e[1;3%dm%se[0;0mn",$color,$_) : print "$_n";
close DIFF;

Colors for bash prompt:

# Shorten home dir, Cygwin drives, paths that are too long
function PSWD() {
  local p="$*" space A B cols="${COLUMNS:-`tput cols 2>/dev/null || echo 80`}"
  p="${p/$HOME/~}"         # shrink home down to a tilde
  if [ -d /cygdrive ] && [ "${p#/cygdrive/?/}" != "$p" ]; then
    p="${p:10:1}:${p:11}"   # /cygdrive/c/hi -> c:/hi
  space="$((${#USER}+${#HOSTNAME}+6))"  # width w/out the path
  if [ "$cols" -lt 60 ]; then echo -n "$N "; space=-29; p="$p$Nb"; fi
  if [ "$cols" -lt "$((space+${#p}+20))" ]; then # < 20 chars for the command
    A=$(( (cols-20-space)/4 ))      # a quarter of the space (-20 for cmd)
    if [ $A -lt 4 ]; then A=4; fi   # 4+ chars from beginning
    B=$(( cols-20-space-A*2 ))      # half (plus rounding) of the space
    if [ $B -lt 8 ]; then B=8; fi   # 8+ chars from end
    p="${p:0:$A}..${p: -$B}"
  echo "$p"

PSC() { printf $'[e[%sm]' "${*:-0;0}"; }
PR="0;32"       # default color used in prompt is green
if [ "$(id -u)" = 0 ]; then
    sudo=41     # root is red background
  elif [ "$USER" != "${SUDO_USER:-$USER}" ]; then
    sudo=31     # not root, not self: red text
  else sudo="$PR"   # standard user color
PROMPT_COMMAND='[ $? = 0 ] && PS1=${PS1[1]} || PS1=${PS1[2]}'
PSbase="$(PSC $sudo)u$(PSC $PR)@h $(PSC 33)$(PSWD w)"
PS1[1]="$PSbase$(PSC $PR)$ $(PSC)"
PS1[2]="$PSbase$(PSC  31)$ $(PSC)"
unset sudo PR PSbase

demo of bash prompt

Answered By: Adam Katz

I’ve honed my .bashrc over the years to work on both OSX and Ubuntu.
I’ve also reduced it in size to 28 lines with compact condition statements.
With it, my PS1 prompt looks like:
enter image description here

with time in red, username in green, machine name in light blue, pwd in darker blue and git branch in yellow.

Feature of my PS1 prompt:

  • shows git branch!
  • long directory paths (more than 6 elements) are ‘trimmed’ to show top 3 and bottom 3 directories with _ between then (that’s the pwd sed part of LOCATION).
  • carriage return at the end so that prompt is always on the left!

The relevant lines from my .bashrc file are:

git_branch () { git branch 2> /dev/null | sed -e '/^[^*]/d' -e 's/* (.*)/1/'; }
HOST='33[02;36m]h'; HOST=' '$HOST
TIME='33[01;31m]t 33[01;32m]'
LOCATION=' 33[01;34m]`pwd | sed "s#(/[^/]{1,}/[^/]{1,}/[^/]{1,}/).*(/[^/]{1,}/[^/]{1,})/{0,1}#1_2#g"`'
BRANCH=' 33[00;33m]$(git_branch)[33[00m]n$ '

For ls with colors when available and no errors when not (i.e. OSX):

ls --color=al > /dev/null 2>&1 && alias ls='ls -F --color=al' || alias ls='ls -G'
Answered By: Michael Durrant

For Mac you can use following as specified here

if [ "$TERM" = xterm ]; then TERM=xterm-256color; fi
Answered By: doesnt_matter

For setting the prompt, I have this in my .bashrc file.

#Set variables for foreground colors
fgRed=$(tput setaf 1)     ; fgGreen=$(tput setaf 2)  ; fgBlue=$(tput setaf 4)
fgMagenta=$(tput setaf 5) ; fgYellow=$(tput setaf 3) ; fgCyan=$(tput setaf 6)
fgWhite=$(tput setaf 7)   ; fgBlack=$(tput setaf 0)
#Set variables for background colors
bgRed=$(tput setab 1)     ; bgGreen=$(tput setab 2)  ; bgBlue=$(tput setab 4)
bgMagenta=$(tput setab 5) ; bgYellow=$(tput setab 3) ; bgCyan=$(tput setab 6)
bgWhite=$(tput setab 7)   ; bgBlack=$(tput setab 0)
#Set variables for font weight and text decoration
B=$(tput bold) ; U=$(tput smul) ; C=$(tput sgr0)
#NOTE: ${C} clears the current formatting

if [[ $USER = "root" ]]; then
  PS1="${B}${fgRed}u${C}@h(s): ${fgGreen}w${C} > "
  PS1="${B}${fgCyan}u${C}@h(s): ${fgGreen}w${C} > "

This gives me a prompt that looks something like this:

user@host(bash): ~/bin >

The working directory is in green. And the user name is bold and cyan unless I ran the shell with sudo, in which case the user name (“root”) displays bold and red.

I personally really like having the formatting control characters stored in variables because it makes reading the code for setting the prompt easier. It also makes editing the prompt much easier.

The reason I use tput is that it’s supposed to be more universally supported than the weird 033[01;31m] sequences. Also, as an added bonus, if you do echo $PS1 at the prompt, you will see the raw prompt with colors instead of those unintelligible control sequences.

Answered By: Sildoreth

I suggest you check out ZSH and its plugin oh-my-zsh which has one of the most powerfull console features that I saw. One of them is picking theme for your terminal. This is example of my theme… In tty the colors are not so warm but they are the same like in this picture… Any way you will love it!

enter image description here

Answered By: user92622

A great general-purpose Python tool for coloring the output of commands is ‘colout

You give it a regex with N groups, followed by a comma separated list of N colors. Any text that matches a group will be displayed in the corresponding color.

So for example, if you’re looking at some test output:

python -m unittest discover -v

Uncolored output of some Python unittests

then you can spruce it up with:

python -m unittest discover -v 2>&1 | colout '(.*ERROR$)|(.*FAIL$)|((.*))' red,yellow,black bold

Colored output of some Python unittests

See how my regex has three groups (the parenthesis) followed by three colors (and optionally three styles, but I’ve used a shorthand to set all the colors to ‘bold’, so the ‘black’ group, which matches text in brackets, comes out as dark grey.)

Note also how I had to add 2>&1 to the end of the Python invocation, because the output of unittest is on stderr, so I transferred it to stdout so that I could pipe it into colout.

This is generally so easy to use that I often find myself creating new colout invocations on-the-fly, and reusing or modifying them from my command-line history.

The only downside of it is that it comes as a Python package, not a standalone executable, so you need to install it using pip, or sudo python install.

Answered By: Jonathan Hartley

For viewing diff output in color, use colordiff.

sudo apt-get install colordiff

Pipe any diff-format output into colordiff:

output of diff piped into colordiff

This includes some of diff’s alternate formats, like -y (side-by-side.)

Alternatively, if invoked standalone (without anything piped into it) then it acts as a wrapper around ‘diff’, and colors the output. Hence I have this in my .bashrc, to alias ‘diff’ to colordiff.

# if colordiff is installed, use it
if type colordiff &>/dev/null ; then
    alias diff=colordiff
Answered By: Jonathan Hartley

I find Solarized useful. Its a neat project with uniform colors for lots of applications.

Answered By: Vamsi

Things that have not been said already here:

To colorize the output of your compilations with gcc, there is colorgcc by Johannes Schlüter

To colorize logs, there is multitail

To colorize any stdout, I put together xcol

xcol example

I personally use these from the xcol tool.

#normal=$(tput sgr0)                      # normal text
normal=$'e[0m'                           # (works better sometimes)
bold=$(tput bold)                         # make colors bold/bright
red="$bold$(tput setaf 1)"                # bright red text
green=$(tput setaf 2)                     # dim green text
fawn=$(tput setaf 3); beige="$fawn"       # dark yellow text
yellow="$bold$fawn"                       # bright yellow text
darkblue=$(tput setaf 4)                  # dim blue text
blue="$bold$darkblue"                     # bright blue text
purple=$(tput setaf 5); magenta="$purple" # magenta text
pink="$bold$purple"                       # bright magenta text
darkcyan=$(tput setaf 6)                  # dim cyan text
cyan="$bold$darkcyan"                     # bright cyan text
gray=$(tput setaf 7)                      # dim white text
darkgray="$bold"$(tput setaf 0)           # bold black = dark gray text
white="$bold$gray"                        # bright white text

I use these variables in my scripts like so

echo "${red}hello ${yellow}this is ${green}coloured${normal}"

I also like this little function coloredEcho ( found on Stack Overflow )

function coloredEcho(){
    local exp=$1;
    local color=$2;
    if ! [[ $color =~ '^[0-9]$' ]] ; then
       case $(echo $color | tr '[:upper:]' '[:lower:]') in
        black) color=0 ;;
        red) color=1 ;;
        green) color=2 ;;
        yellow) color=3 ;;
        blue) color=4 ;;
        magenta) color=5 ;;
        cyan) color=6 ;;
        white|*) color=7 ;; # white or invalid color
    tput setaf $color;
    echo $exp;
    tput sgr0;

coloredEcho "This text is green" green

Sorry, not allowed to post more links

Answered By: nachoparker

I use color wrapper.

cw is a non-intrusive real-time ANSI color wrapper for common unix-based
commands on GNU/linux. cw is designed to simulate the environment of the
commands being executed, so that if a person types ‘du’, ‘df’, ‘ping’, etc.
in their shell it will automatically color the output in real-time according
to a definition file containing the color format desired. cw has support for
wildcard match coloring, tokenized coloring, headers/footers, case scenario
coloring, command line dependent definition coloring, and includes over 50
pre-made definition files.

It is almost seamless, but once i found that ps in interactive shell returns different output comparing ps in a pipe.

Answered By: user3132194

if you want to make your vim colorful just like me, I suggest you to follow two steps:

  1. learn how to turn on the feature by following this link: turn on
    color syntax highlighting in vi or vim

key steps in the link:

  1. Edit ~/.vimrc file by typing the command: vi ~/.vimrc

  2. Append the following option:syntax on

  3. Save and close the file

  4. Test it by running vim command: vim

  1. find a color scheme you like, and use it. The scheme which I use:the scheme that I am using
Answered By: ZhaoGang

If bash is your choice, I recommend oh-my-bash. If zsh is your choice, I recommend oh-my-zsh. Both support colorization of your terminal and different output.

Answered By: TimWirtjes

I’d like to humbly advertise my recent publication of ta or textattr, a library and command-line tool that aims to make adding color and attributes to beautify the terminal output of your program easier by translating human-readable specs into ANSI escape codes.

For example:

echo "The Git repo $(ta yellow)${CUR_REPO}$(ta off) is $(ta green)up-to-date$(ta off)"

or the even shorter:

echo "The Git repo $(ta y)${CUR_REPO}$(ta f) is $(ta g)up-to-date$(ta f)"

or an alternate:

tawrite "The Git repo " @y ${CUR_REPO} @f " is " @g up-to-date @f "n"

will give you something like:

enter image description here

Currently this library is usable from four languages C, C++, D and Python apart from commandline use from your favourite shell.

Note that it does not automatically colourize the output of any other programs. It is rather a utility to help you with not having to remember the abstruse codes. You only need to use the obvious colour names or their easy-to-remember rgb cmyk w(hite) (of)f abbreviations.

For more details visit the textattr repo.

Answered By: jamadagni

You can use my cf for file name coloring on the command line, it’s a quick little awk-based colorizer that works via pipes – coloring filenames in Truecolor sRGB.

It’s got a brightly colored default configuration and unlike ls it does
not suffer a performance penalty for adding new colors. (ls must scan the
entire LS_COLORS string for each miss).

cf usage

cf screenshot

Answered By: Adam D.

For awesome colorization of diff you should take a look at

You just install it and then you add this to .gitconfig

    diff = delta
    log = delta
    reflog = delta
    show = delta

    diffFilter = delta --color-only --features=interactive

Then you get syntax highlighting in your diffs

syntax highlighted diff

Answered By: Klas Mellbourn

If you’re wanting to do it on log files.

tail -f example.log | sed 
-e "s/FATAL/"$'e[31m'"&"$'e[m'"/" 
-e "s/ERROR/"$'e[31m'"&"$'e[m'"/" 
-e "s/WARNING/"$'e[33m'"&"$'e[m'"/" 
-e "s/INFO/"$'e[32m'"&"$'e[m'"/" 
-e "s/DEBUG/"$'e[34m'"&"$'e[m'"/"

An example of it working and screenshot below:

echo " [timestamp] production.FATAL Some Messagen" 
"[timestamp] production.ERROR Some Messagen" 
"[timestamp] production.WARNING Some Messagen" 
"[timestamp] production.INFO Some Messagen" 
"[timestamp] production.DEBUG Some Messagen"  | sed 
-e "s/FATAL/"$'e[31m'"&"$'e[m'"/" 
-e "s/ERROR/"$'e[31m'"&"$'e[m'"/" 
-e "s/WARNING/"$'e[33m'"&"$'e[m'"/" 
-e "s/INFO/"$'e[32m'"&"$'e[m'"/" 
-e "s/DEBUG/"$'e[34m'"&"$'e[m'"/"

Prints out like this on Mac:

Mac sed logs to add colour

Answered By: Oli Girling

Use the colors before the parts you want to color. This is where I found this

# Reset
Color_Off="[33[0m]"       # Text Reset

# Regular Colors
Black="[33[0;30m]"        # Black
Red="[33[0;31m]"          # Red
Green="[33[0;32m]"        # Green
Yellow="[33[0;33m]"       # Yellow
Blue="[33[0;34m]"         # Blue
Purple="[33[0;35m]"       # Purple
Cyan="[33[0;36m]"         # Cyan
White="[33[0;37m]"        # White

# Bold
BBlack="[33[1;30m]"       # Black
BRed="[33[1;31m]"         # Red
BGreen="[33[1;32m]"       # Green
BYellow="[33[1;33m]"      # Yellow
BBlue="[33[1;34m]"        # Blue
BPurple="[33[1;35m]"      # Purple
BCyan="[33[1;36m]"        # Cyan
BWhite="[33[1;37m]"       # White

# Underline
UBlack="[33[4;30m]"       # Black
URed="[33[4;31m]"         # Red
UGreen="[33[4;32m]"       # Green
UYellow="[33[4;33m]"      # Yellow
UBlue="[33[4;34m]"        # Blue
UPurple="[33[4;35m]"      # Purple
UCyan="[33[4;36m]"        # Cyan
UWhite="[33[4;37m]"       # White

# Background
On_Black="[33[40m]"       # Black
On_Red="[33[41m]"         # Red
On_Green="[33[42m]"       # Green
On_Yellow="[33[43m]"      # Yellow
On_Blue="[33[44m]"        # Blue
On_Purple="[33[45m]"      # Purple
On_Cyan="[33[46m]"        # Cyan
On_White="[33[47m]"       # White

# High Intensity
IBlack="[33[0;90m]"       # Black
IRed="[33[0;91m]"         # Red
IGreen="[33[0;92m]"       # Green
IYellow="[33[0;93m]"      # Yellow
IBlue="[33[0;94m]"        # Blue
IPurple="[33[0;95m]"      # Purple
ICyan="[33[0;96m]"        # Cyan
IWhite="[33[0;97m]"       # White

# Bold High Intensity
BIBlack="[33[1;90m]"      # Black
BIRed="[33[1;91m]"        # Red
BIGreen="[33[1;92m]"      # Green
BIYellow="[33[1;93m]"     # Yellow
BIBlue="[33[1;94m]"       # Blue
BIPurple="[33[1;95m]"     # Purple
BICyan="[33[1;96m]"       # Cyan
BIWhite="[33[1;97m]"      # White

# High Intensty backgrounds
On_IBlack="[33[0;100m]"   # Black
On_IRed="[33[0;101m]"     # Red
On_IGreen="[33[0;102m]"   # Green
On_IYellow="[33[0;103m]"  # Yellow
On_IBlue="[33[0;104m]"    # Blue
On_IPurple="[33[10;95m]"  # Purple
On_ICyan="[33[0;106m]"    # Cyan
On_IWhite="[33[0;107m]"   # White

# Various variables you might want for your PS1 prompt instead

Remember to keep color to yes in .bashrc file and the color does not change back so end your colored part with "[33[0m]".

Answered By: RadaRK
Categories: Answers Tags: , , ,
Answers are sorted by their score. The answer accepted by the question owner as the best is marked with
at the top-right corner.