rename(1) — Linux manual page


RENAME(1)                     User Commands                    RENAME(1)

NAME         top

       rename - rename files

SYNOPSIS         top

       rename [options] expression replacement file...

DESCRIPTION         top

       rename will rename the specified files by replacing the first
       occurrence of expression in their name by replacement.

OPTIONS         top

       -s, --symlink
              Do not rename a symlink but its target.

       -v, --verbose
              Show which files were renamed, if any.

       -n, --no-act
              Do not make any changes; add --verbose to see what would
              be made.

       -o, --no-overwrite
              Do not overwrite existing files.  When --symlink is
              active, do not overwrite symlinks pointing to existing

       -i, --interactive
              Ask before overwriting existing files.

       -V, --version
              Display version information and exit.

       -h, --help
              Display help text and exit.

WARNING         top

       The renaming has no safeguards by default or without any one of
       the options --no-overwrite, --interactive or --no-act.  If the
       user has permission to rewrite file names, the command will
       perform the action without any questions.  For example, the
       result can be quite drastic when the command is run as root in
       the /lib directory.  Always make a backup before running the
       command, unless you truly know what you are doing.


       As most standard utilities rename can be used with a terminal
       device (tty in short) in canonical mode, where the line is
       buffered by the tty and you press ENTER to validate the user
       input.  If you put your tty in cbreak mode however, rename
       requires only a single key press to answer the prompt.  To set
       cbreak mode, run for example:

              sh -c 'stty -icanon min 1; "$0" "$@"; stty icanon' rename -i from to files

EXIT STATUS         top

              0      all requested rename operations were successful
              1      all rename operations failed
              2      some rename operations failed
              4      nothing was renamed
              64     unanticipated error occurred

EXAMPLES         top

       Given the files foo1, ..., foo9, foo10, ..., foo278, the commands

              rename foo foo00 foo?
              rename foo foo0 foo??

       will turn them into foo001, ..., foo009, foo010, ..., foo278.

              rename .htm .html *.htm

       will fix the extension of your html files.  Provide an empty
       string for shortening:

              rename '_with_long_name' '' file_with_long_name.*

       will remove the substring in the filenames.

SEE ALSO         top


AVAILABILITY         top

       The rename command is part of the util-linux package and is
       available from

COLOPHON         top

       This page is part of the util-linux (a random collection of Linux
       utilities) project.  Information about the project can be found
       at ⟨⟩.  If you
       have a bug report for this manual page, send it to  This page was obtained from the
       project's upstream Git repository
       ⟨git://⟩ on
       2021-03-21.  (At that time, the date of the most recent commit
       that was found in the repository was 2021-03-19.)  If you
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       manual page), send a mail to

util-linux                      June 2011                      RENAME(1)

Pages that refer to this page: rename(2)strverscmp(3)