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About shell : Rename-multiple-files-by-replacing-a-particular-pattern-in-the-filenames-using-a-shell-script-duplicate

Question Detail

Write a simple script that will automatically rename a number of files. As an example we want the file *001.jpg renamed to user defined string + 001.jpg (ex: MyVacation20110725_001.jpg) The usage for this script is to get the digital camera photos to have file names that make some sense.

I need to write a shell script for this. Can someone suggest how to begin?

Question Answer

An example to help you get off the ground.

for f in *.jpg; do mv "$f" "$(echo "$f" | sed s/IMG/VACATION/)"; done

In this example, I am assuming that all your image files contain the string IMG and you want to replace IMG with VACATION.

The shell automatically evaluates *.jpg to all the matching files.

The second argument of mv (the new name of the file) is the output of the sed command that replaces IMG with VACATION.

If your filenames include whitespace pay careful attention to the "$f" notation. You need the double-quotes to preserve the whitespace.

You can use rename utility to rename multiple files by a pattern. For example following command will prepend string MyVacation2011_ to all the files with jpg extension.

rename 's/^/MyVacation2011_/g' *.jpg


rename <pattern> <replacement> <file-list>

this example, I am assuming that all your image files begin with “IMG” and you want to replace “IMG” with “VACATION”

solution : first identified all jpg files and then replace keyword

find . -name '*jpg' -exec bash -c 'echo mv $0 ${0/IMG/VACATION}' {} \; 

for file in *.jpg ; do mv $file ${file//IMG/myVacation} ; done

Again assuming that all your image files have the string “IMG” and you want to replace “IMG” with “myVacation”.

With bash you can directly convert the string with parameter expansion.

Example: if the file is IMG_327.jpg, the mv command will be executed as if you do mv IMG_327.jpg myVacation_327.jpg. And this will be done for each file found in the directory matching *.jpg.

IMG_001.jpg -> myVacation_001.jpg
IMG_002.jpg -> myVacation_002.jpg
IMG_1023.jpg -> myVacation_1023.jpg

find . -type f | 
sed -n "s/\(.*\)factory\.py$/& \1service\.py/p" | 
xargs -p -n 2 mv

eg will rename all files in the cwd with names ending in “factory.py” to be replaced with names ending in “service.py”


  1. In the sed cmd, the -n flag will suppress normal behavior of echoing input to output after the s/// command is applied, and the p option on s/// will force writing to output if a substitution is made. Since a sub will only be made on match, sed will only have output for files ending in “factory.py”

  2. In the s/// replacement string, we use “& ” to interpolate the entire matching string, followed by a space character, into the replacement. Because of this, it’s vital that our RE matches the entire filename. after the space char, we use “\1service.py” to interpolate the string we gulped before “factory.py”, followed by “service.py”, replacing it. So for more complex transformations youll have to change the args to s/// (with an re still matching the entire filename)

Example output:

foo_factory.py foo_service.py
bar_factory.py bar_service.py
  1. We use xargs with -n 2 to consume the output of sed 2 delimited strings at a time, passing these to mv (i also put the -p option in there so you can feel safe when running this). voila.

NOTE: If you are facing more complicated file and folder scenarios, this post explains find (and some alternatives) in greater detail.

Another option is:

for i in *001.jpg
  echo "mv $i yourstring${i#*001.jpg}"

remove echo after you have it right.

Parameter substitution with # will keep only the last part, so you can change its name.

Can’t comment on Susam Pal’s answer but if you’re dealing with spaces, I’d surround with quotes:

for f in *.jpg; do mv "$f" "`echo $f | sed s/\ /\-/g`"; done;

You can try this:

for file in *.jpg;
  mv $file $somestring_${file:((-7))}

You can see “parameter expansion” in man bash to understand the above better.

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