Tuesday, July 5, 2022
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How to Use the Rename Command on Linux

In this article, we will be talking about how to use the rename command on Linux.

Linux users have enjoyed using the default cp and mv commands to copy and rename files. This is because those commands are very simple to use, and this method is widespread and used every day by millions of people. In this article, we will discuss how to use the rename command on Linux.

However, we have other techniques, handy variations, and another command for renaming files that offers some unique options.

What’s Wrong With mv?

mv is a unique command that does a fine job, and can be found on all Linux distributions, macOS, and other Unix-like operating systems. So it’s always available. But sometimes, you need a bulldozer, not a shovel.

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How to Use the Rename Command on Linux

cp and mv might be one of the most popular commands, but there are alternatives you can use, but they may get real old fast. Better alternatives are:

  • Use tar to create an archive of all of the files you want to back up before you start editing them.
  • Use a for loop to make the backup copies easier.

The tar option is very straightforward. For all files in the current directory, you’d use a command like:

  • $ tar cf myfiles.tar *( This is used to group files that you can identify with a pattern).
  • $ tar cf myfiles.tar *.txt (In each case, you end up with a myfiles.tar file that contains all the files in the directory or all files with the .txt extension).

An easy loop would allow you to make backup copies with modified names:

$ for file in *

> do

> cp $file $file-orig

> done

How to Rename a Single File With mv

Follow the instructions below to rename a Single file:

  • First, open your command, type mv, and space.
  • Then, type the new name you wish the file to have.
  • Now, push Enter.

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To confirm is it works, you’re required to perform the next step below to check:

mv oldfile.txt newfile.txt

ls *.txt

How to Rename Multiple Files with mv

Things get trickier when you want to rename multiple files. mv cannot deal with renaming multiple files. It would be best if you resorted to using some nifty Bash tricks. That’s fine if you know some medium-grade command-line fu, but the complexity of renaming multiple files with mv stands in stark contrast to the ease of using mv to rename a single file.

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Diekola Jubril
Diekola Jubril
Passionate for gaming and exploring nature, I face every task as a new challenge to bring my skills to the next level.
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