I feel like a total nubbins for this one. I’ve been messing around with linux for many years now and I’ve always wondered why my regular users had pretty color coded files and directories when using ls, but root never did. It always bothered me, and I knew there was probably a way to fix it, but I was too lazy to google it. Besides, having a plain black and white terminal was always a reminder that I was running as root and needed to be careful. :)
Anyway, one day I happened to look at the default aliases for a normal user and noticed this one:
alias ls='ls --color=auto'
Talk about a light bulb moment! There it was, the answer to that little thing that had been bugging me all those years. Helpful reminders be damned! That alias has now made its way into root’s profile.
Have I mentioned that I also didn’t know about aliases until recently? Sometimes I think my willful ignorance goes too far.