- Rename files using simple substitutions (substitute 'foo' with 'bar' wherever found):
rename foo bar *
- Dry-run - display which renames would occur without performing them:
rename -vn foo bar *
- Do not overwrite existing files:
rename -o foo bar *
- Change file extensions:
rename .ext .bak *.ext
- Prepend "foo" to all filenames in the current directory:
rename '' 'foo' *
- Rename a group of increasingly numbered files zero-padding the numbers up to 3 digits:
rename foo foo00 foo? && rename foo foo0 foo??
rename [options] expression replacement file...
rename will rename the specified files by replacing the first occurrence of expression in their name by replacement.
- -s, --symlink
Do not rename a symlink but change where it points.
- -v, --verbose
Show which files were renamed, if any.
- -n, --no-act
Do not make any changes; add --verbose to see what would be made.
- -a, --all
Replace all occurrences of expression rather than only the first one.
- -l, --last
Replace the last occurrence of expression rather than the first one.
- -o, --no-overwrite
Do not overwrite existing files. When --symlink is active, do not overwrite symlinks pointing to existing targets.
- -i, --interactive
Ask before overwriting existing files.
- -h, --help
Display help text and exit.
- -V, --version
Print version and exit.
The renaming has no safeguards by default or without any one of the options --no-overwrite, --interactive or --no-act. If the user has permission to rewrite file names, the command will perform the action without any questions. For example, the result can be quite drastic when the command is run as root in the /lib directory. Always make a backup before running the command, unless you truly know what you are doing.
If the expression is empty, then by default replacement will be added to the start of the filename. With --all, replacement will be inserted in between every two characters of the filename, as well as at the start and end.
Normally, only the final path component of a filename is updated. (Or with --symlink, only the final path component of the link.) But if either expression or replacement contains a /, the full path is updated. This can cause a file to be moved between folders. Creating folders, and moving files between filesystems, is not supported.
As most standard utilities rename can be used with a terminal device (tty in short) in canonical mode, where the line is buffered by the tty and you press ENTER to validate the user input. If you put your tty in cbreak mode however, rename requires only a single key press to answer the prompt. To set cbreak mode, run for example:
sh -c 'stty -icanon min 1; "$0" "$@"; stty icanon' rename -i from to files
all requested rename operations were successful
all rename operations failed
some rename operations failed
nothing was renamed
unanticipated error occurred
Given the files foo1, ..., foo9, foo10, ..., foo278, the commands
rename foo foo00 foo? rename foo foo0 foo??
will turn them into foo001, ..., foo009, foo010, ..., foo278. And
rename .htm .html *.htm
will fix the extension of your html files. Provide an empty string for shortening:
rename '_with_long_name' '' file_with_long_name.*
will remove the substring in the filenames.
For bug reports, use the issue tracker at https://github.com/util-linux/util-linux/issues.
The rename command is part of the util-linux package which can be downloaded from Linux Kernel Archive.
gdcmgendir(1), rename(2), strverscmp(3).