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When working with information, renaming them is a single of the most essential steps. In Linux, renaming a file or listing is largely completed using mv. Even so, when it comes to renaming a number of documents or folders, using mv gets to be advanced. It needs setting up elaborate loops and piping to get the career carried out. The rename command is particularly designed for these situations.

Rename is a strong batch renaming resource that takes advantage of Perl expression to rename numerous files and directories in a solitary command. In this tutorial, verify out how to rename information with rename.

Setting up Rename

The rename command does not occur pre-put in. Luckily, we can set up it from the formal deal servers of any Linux distro.

There are two variations of tool, every with its have syntax and function. For this manual, we’ll emphasis on the a person that utilizes Perl.

In the circumstance of Debian/Ubuntu, rename is obtainable as the offer “rename”. Set up the deal.

$ sudo apt update

$ sudo apt install rename

In the situation of CentOS and Fedora, the bundle title is diverse. It’s regarded as “prename”. Set up the offer.

$ sudo yum put in prename

In the case of Arch Linux, the package deal identify is “perl-rename”. Put in the package.

$ sudo pacman -S perl-rename

Working with Rename

Let us have a appear at a variety of methods of making use of the rename command.

Simple Command Framework

The tool follows the following command composition:

$ rename <options> <perl_expression> <files>

The rename command is truly a Perl script. It operates working with the Perl expression. As you can guess, utilizing it to the fullest involves expertise in Perl frequent expressions.

Despite the fact that there are quite a few methods of setting up the Perl expression, the adhering to expression is very prevalent to occur throughout when performing with the rename command.

$ s/<search_pattern>/<replacement>/

Fundamental utilization

In this article, I have a bunch of dummy files completely ready to be renamed.

The pursuing rename command will rename all the file extensions from TXT to Textual content.

$ rename ‘s/.txt/.text/’ *.txt

Here, the goal files to rename is expressed working with the wildcard (*) image.

Verbose Manner

By default, rename doesn’t print a great deal output. Even so, acquiring additional in-depth information on its actions can support in various eventualities, particularly when it arrives to debugging. In verbose manner, rename prints out more information about the ongoing task to greater have an understanding of and detect achievable problems.

To run rename in verbose mode, add the “-v” flag.

$ rename -v ‘s/.txt/.text/’ *.txt

Dry Operate

When operating rename, the variations are designed everlasting. In quite a few predicaments, it will guide to unneeded trouble. To stop unwanted alterations to file and folder names, we can check out the command using a dry run.

A dry operate is in essence a exam operate that doesn’t alter nearly anything with the true documents and folders. Nevertheless, making use of verbose mode will print the output as if the command was actually done. Which is why it’s always a good strategy to dry run with verbose method. It is encouraged to conduct a dry run right before managing any rename command on critical information and folders.

To accomplish a dry run, include the “-n” flag.

$ rename -v -n ‘s/.txt/.textual content/’ *.txt

Overwriting Existing Documents

The default actions of rename is not to overwrite the by now-existing data files. If you never panic overwriting the current types, then you can power rename to overwrite making use of the “-f” flag.

$ rename -v -f ‘s/.txt/.text/’ *.txt

Sample Rename Perl Expressions

The standard composition of the rename command is quite uncomplicated. Its principal ability is the incorporation of the Perl regular expressions. Normal expression is a intelligent way of describing a pattern and specifying the steps. For inexperienced persons, here’s a guide on typical expression working with grep and egrep. While applying unique instruments, the fundamentals of typical expression continue to utilize.

Here’s a shortlist of some frequent rename Perl expressions. Take note that these are only for reference. In advance of placing them into use, generally accomplish a dry operate to ensure that it is performing as supposed.

Changing spaces

The adhering to expression will switch areas in filenames with an underscore.

Converting file names to uppercase

Need to have the file names in uppercase? The adhering to Perl expression mixed with the rename command will do just that.

Changing file names to lowercase

The next Perl expression, when utilised with rename, will rename the filenames from uppercase to lowercase.

Taking away components of the file names

If filenames have avoidable contents, we can always take out them applying Perl expression. For instance, to rename backup information (.bak) to the first information, we can just get rid of the “.bak” portion from the file name.

Renaming numerous matching styles

Let’s say you’re with Textual content and TXT documents. Even with distinctive file extensions, the two are in the similar format. As a substitute of dealing with the two Textual content and TXT, we can rename all of them to TXT information.

Equally, rather of working with equally JPEG and JPG, we can rename all of them to JPG.

Be aware that in both of those cases, the file extensions have similarities besides for a single character. Which is why we could use this shortcut. If the file extensions are fully different, then it will not do the job.


The rename command is a easy tool to master. It’s actually powerful when you are functioning with tons of data files and renaming them into numerous formats. It’s also secure to integrate into bash scripts for automation. If you are a novice, here’s a fantastic beginning information on bash scripting.

Satisfied computing!

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