I recently upgraded my computer and along with a new OS I have a new username. Because of that I have a References directory full of links that don't work anymore, but they would if I could simply swap out my old username for my new one within the links.

For example: The file /home/CurUserName/Reference/C/Car/Insurance points to /home/OldUserName/Reference/I/Insurance

I found this answer which explains how to find every link in a directory, and I've found elsewhere online instructions on how to manually update a single link, but I'm not experienced enough with Bash to figure out how (or if) I can change all of them at once. Is this possible? If so, how?

1 Answer 1


This question should probably be under unix/bash, but here you go:


# renl: Rename links

# Make sure we have at least two arguments, the source and destination
if [ $# -lt 2 ];then
    echo Usage: renl SOURCE DEST [TARGET]
    exit 1
    export SOURCE="$1"
    export DEST="$2"

# Setup the target directory argument
if [ -n "$3" ]; then
    export TARGET="$3"
    export TARGET="."

# Output the input values
echo "Source: $SOURCE"
echo "Destin: $DEST"
echo "Target: $TARGET"

# Loop thru all links in the target directory
links=$(find $TARGET  -maxdepth 1  -type l)
for f in $links; do
    tolink=$(readlink "$f")

    if [[ $tolink == *"${SOURCE}"* ]]; then
        echo "$f --> $tolink ==> $newlink"
        # Uncoment the next line to actaully do the rename
        # rm "$f" && ln -s "$newlink" "$f"
        echo "$f --> $tolink"

unset SOURCE
unset DEST
unset TARGET

Note that you'll have to input any wildcards for TARGET with single quotes around it if you don't want the shell expansion.

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