rename [ -v ] [ -n ] [ -f ] perlexpr [ files ]

  • -v: Print names of files successfully renamed.
  • -n: Show what files would have been renamed.
  • -f: Force overwrites existing files.
  • perlexpr: Perl Expression.

rename -n ‘s/.html$/.php/’ *.html

Dry Run File Renaming
Dry Run File Renaming

which rename


Basic Syntax of Rename Command

sudo apt install rename [On Debian, Ubuntu and Mint]
sudo yum install prename [On RHEL/CentOS/Fedora and Rocky/AlmaLinux]
sudo emerge -a sys-apps/rename [On Gentoo Linux]
sudo apk add rename [On Alpine Linux]
sudo pacman -S rename [On Arch Linux]
sudo zypper install rename [On OpenSUSE]
sudo pkg install rename [On FreeBSD]

1. Changing File Extensions in Linux

rename ‘y/A-Z/a-z/’ *.HTML

Change Filenames to Lowercase
Change Filenames to Lowercase

5. Capitalize First Letter of Filename

man rename

rename -f ‘s/a/b/’ *.html

rename –version

rename ‘s/b(w)/U/g’ *.html

Capitalize First Letter of Filename
Capitalize First Letter of Filename

6. Replacing Spaces with Underscores

You can run the which command to find out the location of the rename command.

Installing Rename in Linux

ls -l *.php

Change File Extensions in Linux
Change File Extensions in Linux

cd /path/to/your/files
ls -l *.html

Before using rename, you need to ensure it is installed on your system by running the following command.
rename ‘s/s+/_/g’ *.html

If you would like to forcefully overwrite existing files, use the “-f” option as shown below.
rename is a command line utility that allows you to rename multiple files at once using regular expressions, which are patterns used to match character combinations in strings. This tool is particularly useful for batch renaming files based on specific patterns or rules.

  • 's/.html$/.php/': This is a Perl expression where s/ indicates substitution. The .html$ matches the .html extension at the end of the filename, and /.php/ replaces it with .php.
  • *.html: This specifies that the command should be applied to all files with the .html extension.

rename ‘s/.html$/.php/’ *.html

rename ‘y/a-z/A-Z/’ *.html

Convert Filenames to Uppercase
Convert Filenames to Uppercase

Convert Filenames to Lowercase in Linux

This article will guide you through the basics of using rename to efficiently rename multiple files in Linux.
Below is an example of the command:
To batch rename all files with lowercase names to uppercase. For example, I want to convert all the following files from lowercase to uppercase.

3. View Detailed Rename Information

The rename command is part of a Perl script and it resides under /usr/bin/ on many Linux distributions.
Now use the ls command to verify that the files have been renamed.

Convert Filenames to Uppercase in Linux

The rename command doesn’t display information about the changes it makes by default. If you want to see details about the renames (similar to using the -n option for dry runs), use the -v option, which will print the complete details of all the changes made by the rename command.
To do so, first change to the directory containing your .html files and Use the ls command to list all the files with the .html extension.
rename -v ‘s/.html$/.php/’ *.html

See Exactly What Changed
See Exactly What Changed

4. Change File Name Case in Linux

rename ‘s/old_pattern/new_pattern/’ files

The rename command also comes with a few optional arguments along with a mandatory perl expression that guides the rename command to do actual work.

  • s+: Matches one or more whitespace characters.
  • _: Replaces whitespace with underscores.
  • g: Global replacement, affecting all matches in each file name.

7. Overwrite Existing Files

When undertaking critical or major renaming tasks, you can always check the changes by running the rename command with the -n argument, which will show you exactly what changes would take place, but the changes are not executed for real.
Linux comes with a very powerful built-in tool called rename, which is used to rename multiple files or groups of files, convert filenames to lowercase, convert filenames to uppercase, and overwrite files using Perl expressions.
We often use the mv command to rename a single file in Linux. However, renaming multiple or groups of files quickly makes it a very difficult task in a terminal.

Similar Posts