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Remove spaces from filenames - through a whole directory tree.

Terminal - Remove spaces from filenames - through a whole directory tree.
find . -depth -name '* *' -execdir bash \-c 'a="{}";mv -f "$a" ${a// /_}' \;
2012-02-28 04:03:40
User: DewiMorgan
Functions: bash find mv
1
Remove spaces from filenames - through a whole directory tree.

Sometimes, you don't want to just replace the spaces in the current folder, but through the whole folder tree - such as your whole music collection, perhaps. Or maybe you want to do some other renaming operation throughout a tree - this command's useful for that, too.

To rename stuff through a whole directory tree, you might expect this to work:

for a in `find . -name '* *'`;do mv -i "$a" ${a// /_};done

No such luck. The "for" command will split its parameters on spaces unless the spaces are escaped, so given a file "foo bar", the above would not try to move the file "foo bar" to "foo_bar" but rather the file "foo" to "foo", and the file "bar" to "bar". Instead, find's -execdir and -depth arguments need to be used, to set a variable to the filename, and rename files within the directory before we rename the directory.

It has to be -execdir and won't work with just -exec - that would try to rename "foo bar/baz quux" to "foo_bar/baz_quux" in one step, rather than going into "foo bar/", changing "baz quux" to "baz_quux", then stepping out and changing "foo bar/" into "foo_bar/".

To rename just files, or just directories, you can put "-type f" or "-type d" after the "-depth" param.

You could probably safely replace the "mv" part of the line with a "rename" command, like rename 'y/ /_/' *, but I haven't tried, since that's way less portable.

Alternatives

There is 1 alternative - vote for the best!

Terminal - Alternatives
zmv -Q '(**/)* *(.)' '$f:gs/ /_'

Know a better way?

If you can do better, submit your command here.

What others think

I'm not sure why rename would be 'less portable', bash isn't found on all *nix's, its not even the default with some linux's (ubuntu for instance uses dash) ... but util-linux, which contains 'rename' would no doubt be installed. If you want 'portable' then it really should be POSIX. Anyhow, the above is really a simple task ... given the right shell (zsh):

zmv -Q '(**/)* *(.D)' '$f:gs/ /_'

Comment by khayyam 177 weeks and 5 days ago

Your point of view

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