Rename files using a Perl Common Regular Expression (substitute 'foo' with 'bar' wherever found)
Dry-run - display which renames would occur without performing them
Force renaming even if the operation would remove existing destination files
Convert filenames to lower case (use -f in case-insensitive filesystems to prevent "already exists" errors)
Replace whitespace with underscores
rename [ -h|-m|-V ] [ -v ] [ -0 ] [ -n ] [ -f ] [ -d ] [ -e|-E perlexpr]*|perlexpr [ files ]
rename renames the filenames supplied according to the
rule specified as the first argument. The perlexpr argument is
a Perl expression which is expected to modify the
in Perl for at least some of the filenames specified. If a given
filename is not modified by the expression, it will not be renamed. If
no filenames are given on the command line, filenames will be read via
Examples (Larry Wall, 1992)
For example, to rename all files matching
*.bak to strip
the extension, you might say
rename s/\.bak$// *.bak
To translate uppercase names to lower, you'd use
rename y/A-Z/a-z/ *
More examples (2020)
You can also use rename to move files between directories, possibly at the same time as making other changes (but see --filename)
rename y/A-Z/a-z/;s/^/my_new_dir\// *.*
You can also write the statements separately (see -e/-E)
rename -E y/A-Z/a-z/ -E s/^/my_new_dir\// *.*
- -v, --verbose
Verbose: print names of files successfully renamed.
- -0, --null
Use \0 as record separator when reading from STDIN.
- -n, --nono
No action: print names of files to be renamed, but don't rename.
- -f, --force
Over write: allow existing files to be over-written.
- --path, --fullpath
Rename full path: including any directory component. DEFAULT
- -d, --filename, --nopath, --nofullpath
Do not rename directory: only rename filename component of path.
- -h, --help
Help: print SYNOPSIS and OPTIONS.
- -m, --man
Manual: print manual page.
- -V, --version
Version: show version number.
Expression: code to act on files name. May be repeated to build up code (like
perl -e). If no -e, the first argument is used as code.
Statement: code to act on files name, as -e but terminated by ';'.
No environment variables are used.
If you give an invalid Perl expression you'll get a syntax error.
rename did not check for the existence of
target filenames, so had to be used with care.
mv (1), perl (1)