Fixing unreadable ls output

I encountered some readability issues of certain kinds of files displayed by the ls command on my ArchLinux terminal, specifically with other-writable (o+w) directories.

Contrast issue with other-writable directories printed by ls

Thanks to this StackExchange question, I learned that it's possible to change the ls output colors by specifying an environment variable LS_COLORS on the shell profile (e.g. .zshrc or .bashrc).

In your shell user profile, make an entry that look like this:

# sets directory text color to purple
export LS_COLORS=$LS_COLORS:'di=0;35:'

You can add more types separated by colon:

# change directory and symlink colors
export LS_COLORS=$LS_COLORS:'di=1;33:ln=36'

Some quick styles that you can copy-paste:

Blue = 34
Green = 32
Light Green = 1;32
Cyan = 36
Red = 31
Purple = 35
Brown = 33
Yellow = 1;33
Bold White = 1;37
Light Grey = 0;37
Black = 30
Dark Grey= 1;30

Syntax

LS_COLORS=$LS_COLORS:'<type>=<style|color>[;<style|color>...][:<another_type>]'

Example

export LS_COLORS=$LS_COLORS:'di=1;4;31;42'

Possible foreground colors

30  = black
31  = red
32  = green
33  = orange
34  = blue
35  = purple
36  = cyan
37  = grey
90  = dark grey
91  = light red
92  = light green
93  = yellow
94  = light blue
95  = light purple
96  = turquoise
97  = white

Possible background colors

40  = black background
41  = red background
42  = green background
43  = orange background
44  = blue background
45  = purple background
46  = cyan background
47  = grey background
100 = dark grey background
101 = light red background
102 = light green background
103 = yellow background
104 = light blue background
105 = light purple background
106 = turquoise background
107 = white background

Styles

0   = default colour
1   = bold
4   = underlined
5   = flashing text (disabled on some terminals)
7   = reverse field (exchange foreground and background color)
8   = concealed (invisible)

File types

bd = (BLOCK, BLK) Block device (buffered) special file
cd = (CHAR, CHR) Character device (unbuffered) special file
di = (DIR)  Directory
do = (DOOR) [Door][1]
ex = (EXEC) Executable file (ie. has 'x' set in permissions)
fi = (FILE) Normal file
ln = (SYMLINK, LINK, LNK) Symbolic link. If you set this to ‘target’ instead of a numerical value, the color is as for the file pointed to.
mi = (MISSING) Non-existent file pointed to by a symbolic link (visible when you type ls -l)
no = (NORMAL, NORM) Normal (non-filename) text. Global default, although everything should be something
or = (ORPHAN) Symbolic link pointing to an orphaned non-existent file
ow = (OTHER_WRITABLE) Directory that is other-writable (o+w) and not sticky
pi = (FIFO, PIPE)   Named pipe (fifo file)
sg = (SETGID) File that is setgid (g+s)
so = (SOCK) Socket file
st = (STICKY) Directory with the sticky bit set (+t) and not other-writable
su = (SETUID) File that is setuid (u+s)
tw = (STICKY_OTHER_WRITABLE) Directory that is sticky and other-writable (+t,o+w)
*.extension = Every file using this extension e.g. *.rpm = files with the ending .rpm

Conclusion

After adding a custom LS_COLORS to my .zshrc, o+w directories output in ls is now more readable.