rename all the time. It is pretty simple, but hopefully you know basic regex:
rename "s/SEARCH/REPLACE/g" *
This will replace the string
REPLACE in every file (that is,
/g means global, so if you had a
SEARCH SEARCH.jpg, it would be renamed
REPLACE REPLACE.jpg. If you didn't have
/g, it would have only done substitution once, and thus now named
REPLACE SEARCH.jpg. If you want case-insensitive, add
/i (that would be,
/ig at the end).
With regular expressions, you can do lots more.
Note that this
rename is the
prename (aka Perl
rename) command, which supports complete Perl regular expressions. There is another
rename which uses patterns, and is not as powerful.
prename is installed by default on Ubuntu (along with Perl).
Here are a few examples:
rename 's/^/MyPrefix_/' *
document.pdf renamed to
Also you can remove unwanted strings. Let's say you had 20 MP3 files named like
CD RIP 01 Song.mp3 and you wanted to remove the "CD RIP" part, and you wanted to remove that from all of them with one command.
rename 's/^CD RIP //' *
CD RIP 01 Song.mp3 to
Notice the extra space in
'^CD RIP ', without the space all files would have a space as the first character of the file. Also note, this will work without the
^ character, but would match
CD RIP in any part of the filename. The
^ guarantees it only removes the characters if they are the beginning of the file.
rename 's/$/_MySuffix/' *
document.pdf renamed to
rename 's/\.pdf$/.doc/' *
Something.doc. (The reason for the backslash is,
. is a wildcard character in regexp so
\.pdf only matches the exact string
.pdf. Also very important to note, if you are not familiar with BASH, you must put backslashes in SINGLE quotes! You may not omit quotes or use double quotes, or bash will try to translate them. To bash
.. (But double-quotes and backslashes are used, for example "\n" for a newline, but since
"\." isn't a valid back escape sequence, it translates into
Actually, you can even enclose the parts of the string in quotes instead of the whole:
's/Search/Replace/g' is the same as
s/Search/Replace/g to BASH. You just have to be careful about special characters (and spaces).
I suggest using the
-n option when you are not positive you have the correct regular expressions. It shows what would be renamed, then exits without doing it. For example:
rename -n s/'One'/'Two'/g *
This will list all changes it would have made, had you not put the
-n flag there. If it looks good, press Up to go back, then erase the
-n and press Enter (or replace it with
-v to output all changes it makes).