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I have got the directory /home/user/foo and I want to rename it to /home/user/bar. How can I do this in a terminal?

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See also: How to move a directory –  kenorb Sep 19 '14 at 22:36

4 Answers 4

up vote 207 down vote accepted
mv /home/user/oldname /home/user/newname
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Related –  N.N. Aug 8 '11 at 17:23
Cool article. That's exactly the point. –  Rafał Cieślak Aug 9 '11 at 9:02
This will not work if the new name is already an existing directory. Instead, it will move the old directory inside the new one. –  cxrodgers Apr 17 '14 at 4:56
If the directory name is the same with capitalization you will get No such file or directory. To avoid this do something like mv /home/user/Folder /home/user/temp; mv /home/user/temp/ /home/user/folder. –  DutGRIFF Dec 5 '14 at 16:30

mv can do two jobs.

  1. It can move files or directories
  2. It can rename files or directories

To just rename a file or directory type this in Terminal:

mv old_name new_name 

with space between the old and new names.

To move a file or directory type this in Terminal.

mv file_name ~/Desktop 

it will move the file to the desktop.

If is a directory you should add -R before the directory name:

mv -R directory_name ~/Desktop
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mv on Ubuntu is from GNU coreutils. AFAICT it doesn't have a -R option, nor it is necessary when moving a directory. –  arielf Sep 9 at 7:46

If you want to rename a directory at your level in the file system (e.g., you are at your home directory and want to rename a directory that is also in your home directory):

mv Directory ./NewNameDirectory
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This gvfs-move command will also rename files and directories.

gvfs-move /home/user/oldname /home/user/newname
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protected by heemayl Sep 19 at 18:34

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