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rename - renames multiple files


rename [ -h|-m ] [ -v ] [ -n ] [ -f ] [ -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 $_ string 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 standard input.

For example, to rename all files matching *.bak to strip the extension, you might say

        rename 's/\e.bak$//' *.bak

To translate uppercase names to lower, you'd use

        rename 'y/A-Z/a-z/' *


-v, -verbose

Verbose: print names of files successfully renamed.

-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.

-h, -help

Help: print SYNOPSIS and OPTIONS.

-m, -man

Manual: print manual page.


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.


No environment variables are used.


Larry Wall


mv(1), perl(1)


If you give an invalid Perl expression you'll get a syntax error.


The original rename did not check for the existence of target filenames, so had to be used with care. I hope I've fixed that (Robin Barker).