What's this?

commandlinefu.com is the place to record those command-line gems that you return to again and again.

Delete that bloated snippets file you've been using and share your personal repository with the world. That way others can gain from your CLI wisdom and you from theirs too. All commands can be commented on, discussed and voted up or down.

If you have a new feature suggestion or find a bug, please get in touch via http://commandlinefu.uservoice.com/

Get involved!

You can sign-in using OpenID credentials, or register a traditional username and password.

First-time OpenID users will be automatically assigned a username which can be changed after signing in.

Universal configuration monitoring and system of record for IT.

Stay in the loop…

Follow the Tweets.

Every new command is wrapped in a tweet and posted to Twitter. Following the stream is a great way of staying abreast of the latest commands. For the more discerning, there are Twitter accounts for commands that get a minimum of 3 and 10 votes - that way only the great commands get tweeted.

» http://twitter.com/commandlinefu
» http://twitter.com/commandlinefu3
» http://twitter.com/commandlinefu10

Subscribe to the feeds.

Use your favourite RSS aggregator to stay in touch with the latest commands. There are feeds mirroring the 3 Twitter streams as well as for virtually every other subset (users, tags, functions,…):

Subscribe to the feed for:



May 19, 2015 - A Look At The New Commandlinefu
I've put together a short writeup on what kind of newness you can expect from the next iteration of clfu. Check it out here.
March 2, 2015 - New Management
I'm Jon, I'll be maintaining and improving clfu. Thanks to David for building such a great resource!

Top Tags





replace strings in file names

Terminal - replace strings in file names
rename 's/foo/bar/g' foobar
2010-08-19 03:33:13
Functions: rename
replace strings in file names

Uses vi style search / replace in bash to rename files. Works with regex's too (I use the following a script to fixup / shorten file names):

# Remove complete parenthetical/bracket/brace phrases

rename 's/\(.*\)//g' *

rename 's/\[.*\]//g' *

rename 's/\{.*\}//g' *


There is 1 alternative - vote for the best!

Terminal - Alternatives
for i in $(find . -name *replaceme*);do mv "$i" "${i//replaceme/withme}"; done
2010-08-19 03:22:15
User: lefnire
Functions: find mv
Tags: bash

rename is a great command, but can't get it to work on mac.

Know a better way?

If you can do better, submit your command here.

What others think

Which rename can do this? On Fedora 13, "man rename" says nothing about regexp, only plain text replacements.

which rename


rename --version

rename (util-linux-ng 2.17.2)

man rename


rename from to file...

rename -V


rename will rename the specified files by replacing the first occurrence of _from_ in their name by _to_.

Comment by sklm 275 weeks ago

Right, it wouldn't have that in the rename command. The ability to do the search/replace using regex's is actually a function of the bash shell, which uses the sed style syntax and is handled during the globbing / expansion process.

Comment by unixmonkey11428 275 weeks ago

I thought rename was a perl script that took a regex and a list of file names as argiments.

Comment by kaedenn 275 weeks ago

I think you're right kaedenn:

rename -v

Usage: rename [-v] [-n] [-f] perlexpr [filenames]

cat $(which rename) | head -n 1

#!/usr/bin/perl -w

Comment by cicatriz 274 weeks and 6 days ago

Yup, you guys are correct, it is a perl script, and is taking a perl regex. My bad on that...

Comment by unixmonkey11428 274 weeks and 6 days ago

Your point of view

You must be signed in to comment.