Question

How to change the color of the output in Linux Bash?

Posted January 11, 2021 692 views
Linux BasicsUbuntuCentOSLinux Commands

Hello,

I am working on a Bash script and I wanted to change the color of some of the output to emphasize on some specific words.

For example, I want to be able to print the text in green when the script is successful and in red when the script fails.

Does anyone know an easy way of doing so?

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1 answer

Hi there,

Yes, you can do that with the ANSI escape characters. You can find a list of those characters here.

For example, if you wanted to print green text, you could do the following:

#!/bin/bash

# Set the color variable
green='\033[0;32m'
# Clear the color after that
clear='\033[0m'

printf "The script was executed ${green}successfully${clear}!"

A quick rundown of the script:

  • First we set the green color as a variable
  • After that we set a variable called clear so that we could reset the color of the terminal, otherwise all of the output will be green.
  • Then using printf we printout the message

Here is the output of the script:

Linux Bash output colors

If you prefer using echo instead of printf you need to make sure that you add the -e flag:

#!/bin/bash

# Set the color variable
green='\033[0;32m'
# Clear the color after that
clear='\033[0m'

echo -e "The script was executed ${green}successfully${clear}!"

Here are some other common colors that you could:

#!/bin/bash

# Color variables
red='\033[0;31m'
green='\033[0;32m'
yellow='\033[0;33m'
blue='\033[0;34m'
magenta='\033[0;35m'
cyan='\033[0;36m'
# Clear the color after that
clear='\033[0m'

# Examples

echo -e "The color is: ${red}red${clear}!"
echo -e "The color is: ${green}green${clear}!"
echo -e "The color is: ${yellow}yellow${clear}!"
echo -e "The color is: ${blue}blue${clear}!"
echo -e "The color is: ${magenta}magenta${clear}!"
echo -e "The color is: ${cyan}cyan${clear}!"

Output:

Bash text color on output

You can also change the text background with the following:

#!/bin/bash

# Color variables
bg_red='\033[0;41m'
bg_green='\033[0;42m'
bg_yellow='\033[0;43m'
bg_blue='\033[0;44m'
bg_magenta='\033[0;45m'
bg_cyan='\033[0;46m'

# Examples

echo -e "The background color is: ${red}red${clear}!"
echo -e "The background color is: ${green}green${clear}!"
echo -e "The background color is: ${yellow}yellow${clear}!"
echo -e "The background color is: ${blue}blue${clear}!"
echo -e "The background color is: ${magenta}magenta${clear}!"
echo -e "The background color is: ${cyan}cyan${clear}!"

Output:
Bash background color for output text

Hope that this helps!
Regards,
Bobby