Bash Colors

You can make your BASH script more pretty, by colorizing its output.

Use ANSI escape sequences to set text properties like foreground and background colors.

Colorizing Shell

Use the following template for writing colored text:

echo -e "\e[COLORmSample Text\e[0m"
Option Description
-e Enable interpretation of backslash escapes
\e[ Begin the color modifications
COLORm Color Code + ‘m’ at the end
\e[0m End the color modifications


$ echo -e "\e[31mRed Text\e[0m"
Red Text
$ echo -e "\e[42mGreen Background\e[0m"
Green Background

ANSI — Color Escape Codes

Shell scripts commonly use ANSI escape codes for color output:

Color Foreground Code Background Code Sample
Black 30 40
Red 31 41
Green 32 42
Brown 33 43
Blue 34 44
Purple 35 45
Cyan 36 46
Light Gray 37 47

Escape sequence also allows to control the manner in which characters are displayed on the screen:

ANSI Code Description
0 Normal Characters
1 Bold Characters
4 Underlined Characters
5 Blinking Characters
7 Reverse video Characters


$ echo -e "\e[1mBold Text\e[0m"
Bold Text
$ echo -e "\e[3mUnderlined Text\e[0m"
Underlined Text

By combining all these escape sequences, we can get more fancy effect.

echo -e "\e[COLOR1;COLOR2mSample Text\e[0m"

There are some differences between colors when combining colors with bold text attribute:

Color Foreground Code Background Code Sample
Dark Gray 1;30 1;40
Light Red 1;31 1;41
Light Green 1;32 1;42
Yellow 1;33 1;43
Light Blue 1;34 1;44
Light Purple 1;35 1;45
Light Cyan 1;36 1;46
White 1;37 1;47


$ echo -e "\e[1;34mLight Blue Text\e[0m"
Light Blue Text
$ echo -e "\e[1;33;4;44mYellow Underlined Text on Blue Background\e[0m"
Yellow Underlined Text on Blue Background
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10 Replies to “Bash Colors”

  1. Виктор says: Reply

    Для всех, кто, возможно, попытается применить это для раскраски bash prompt, то бишь PS1: нужно экранировать цвета с помощью [], иначе позиция курсора будет расчитываться неверно, приводя к забавным вещам. Т.е. для красного цвета конструкция \[\e[0;31m\].

  2. Jacob Frautschi says: Reply

    i’d never seen the bold+color=light color trick, neat!

    1. oh, vi iz anglii!

  3. Thank you, just what I was looking for,

  4. Thank you, its very helpful for me

  5. May be usefull.
    Add in Your .bashrc file (home or root) next string
    export PS1=\[\033[01;37m\]$? $( if [[ $? == 0 ]]; then echo “\[\033[01;32m\]\342\234\223”; else echo “\[\033[01;31m\]\342\234\227”; fi) \[\033[1;32m\]\u\[\033[31m\]@\[\033[1;34m\]\h\[\033[1;33m\]:\[\033[1;35m\]\w\[\033[0m\]\$>\[\]
    You’ll get the next string:
    Last error code,
    green OK if error code is 0, red cross if no,
    green username,
    pink symbol AT,
    blue servername,
    white semicolomn,
    pink current dir,
    # if root or $ if user,
    white >
    as this

  6. exactly what I was looking for thanks dude

  7. Jay Vasallo says: Reply
    #== == Date : May 18, 2022
    #== == Name :
    #== Creator : Jay Vasallo - Clanwarz Inc.
    #== =====================================>
    #== Script Variables
    #== Colors
    rt=$(tput sgr0); r=$(tput setaf 1); g=$(tput setaf 2); y=$(tput setaf 3); c=$(tput setaf 6); b=$(tput bold);
    #== Remote Directories
    wDir="$(realpath .)"
    #== Time
    start="$(date +%s)"
    #== Let's Begin
    #== ===========
    echo "${b}${r}[${rt}${b}${y}$(date +"%m-%d-%Y %H:%M:%S")${b}${r}]${rt} - ${b}${g}Starting:${rt} ${b}${c}${scriptName}${rt} ${b}${y}...${rt}"; sleep 1
  8. Thank you very much. This really helped me!

  9. Thank you!

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