Section: User Commands (1)
Updated: June 2011
rename - rename files
expression replacement file
will rename the specified files by replacing the first occurrence of
in their name by
- -s, --symlink
Do not rename a symlink but its target.
- -v, --verbose
Show which files were renamed, if any.
- -n, --no-act
Do not make any changes; add
to see what would be made.
- -o, --no-overwrite
Do not overwrite existing files. When
is active, do not overwrite symlinks pointing to existing targets.
- -i, --interactive
Ask before overwriting existing files.
- -V, --version
Display version information and exit.
- -h, --help
Display help text and exit.
Given the files
, ..., foo9
, ..., foo278
rename foo foo00 foo?
rename foo foo0 foo??
will turn them into
, ..., foo009
, ..., foo278
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.
The renaming has no safeguards by default or without any one of the options
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.
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
The rename command is part of the util-linux package and is available from