Renaming files in linux with a regex

Solution 1:

I used to write perl scripts to do this, until I discovered the rename command.

It accepts a perl regex to do the rename:

for this, I just typed two commands:

rename 's/(\w+)-(\w+)-(\d\d)-(\d{4})-NODATA.txt\$1.$4$3$2.log$//' *
rename 'y/A-Z/a-z/' *.log

For some distros though, rename doesn't have this functionality (see its man page), and you may have to install perl-rename or prename.

Solution 2:

mmv is a standard linux utility to move/rename multiple files. It is available from the repos for most distributions. For your example above, you could do:

mmv '*-Log-*-*-*-NODATA.txt' '#l1.#4#3#2.log'

For more information, read this debaday article or the man page.

Solution 3:

Since i don't have a rename command, i am relying on this:

for myfile in /my/folder/*; do
    target=$(echo $myfile|sed -e 's/foo/bar/g')
    mv "$myfile" "$target"

Solution 4:

rename util is not very "standard". Each distro ships with a different rename tool. For instance, here on Gentoo, rename is from sys-apps/util-linux package and does not support regex.

Hamish Downer suggested mmv, it seems useful, specially for use inside scripts.

On the other hand, for the general case, you might want renameutils. It has qmv and qcp commands, which will open a text editor of your choice (my preference: Vim) and allow you to edit the destination filenames there. After saving and closing the editor, qmv/qcp will do all the renaming.

Both mmv and qmv are smart enough to rename files in correct order and also to detect circular renames, and will automatically make a temporary file if needed.