iso-8859-1 to utf-8 safe recursive rename

detox -r -s utf_8 /path/to/old/win/files/dir
This command is a powerful "detoxifier" that eliminates special chars, spaces and all those little chars we don't like. It support several "sequences" so be sure to check your /usr/local/etc/detoxrc while at it... and maybe define your own
Sample Output
detox -r -v -n -s utf_8 /media/archivo/audio/music/selections/
Scanning: /media/archivo/audio/music/selections/
/media/archivo/audio/music/selections//2008 indie -> /media/archivo/audio/music/selections//2008_indie
/media/archivo/audio/music/selections//2008 indie/emily_haines_&_the_soft_skeleton-the_lottery.mp3 -> /media/archivo/audio/music/selections//2008 indie/emily_haines_and_the_soft_skeleton-the_lottery.mp3
/media/archivo/audio/music/selections//2008 indie/boat-(im_a)_donkey_for_your_love.mp3 -> /media/archivo/audio/music/selections//2008 indie/boat-im_a-donkey_for_your_love.mp3
/media/archivo/audio/music/selections//2008 indie/say_hi_(to_your_mom)-northwestern_girls.mp3 -> /media/archivo/audio/music/selections//2008 indie/say_hi-to_your_mom-northwestern_girls.mp3
/media/archivo/audio/music/selections//2008 indie/the__duke__spirit-send_a_little_love_token.mp3 -> /media/archivo/audio/music/selections//2008 indie/the_duke_spirit-send_a_little_love_token.mp3
/media/archivo/audio/music/selections//2008 indie/john_vanderslice-exodus_damage_(remix).mp3 -> /media/archivo/audio/music/selections//2008 indie/john_vanderslice-exodus_damage-remix-.mp3
/media/archivo/audio/music/selections//2008 indie/butch_walker_and_the_lets_go_out_tonites-bethamphetamine_(pretty_pretty).mp3 -> /media/archivo/audio/music/selections//2008 indie/butch_walker_and_the_lets_go_out_tonites-bethamphetamine-pretty_pretty-.mp3
/media/archivo/audio/music/selections//2008 indie/los_campesinos-dont_tell_me_to_do_the_math(s).mp3 -> /media/archivo/audio/music/selections//2008 indie/los_campesinos-dont_tell_me_to_do_the_math-s-.mp3
/media/archivo/audio/music/selections//2008 prior to -> /media/archivo/audio/music/selections//2008_prior_to

By: renich
2009-03-16 07:50:36

2 Alternatives + Submit Alt

  • Nothing advanced, it just finds filenames that are stored with ISO-8859-1 characters and and converts those into UTF-8. Recommended to use without the --notest flag first so you can see what will be changed.

    convmv -r -f ISO-8859-1 -t UTF-8 --notest *
    jsiei97 · 2009-08-17 18:23:19 0
  • Warn: use convmv or detox if you can: they are the right tools. But if you want to do it manually, you can use this command to find the problematic files and transliterate their accented characters to their ascii equivalent. (Useful when doing cd backup: growisofs may fail on files which come from the old iso8859-* days.)

    LANG=fr_FR.iso8859-1 find . -name '*['$'\xe9'$'\xea'$'\xeb'$'\xc9'']*'|while read f; do a="$(echo $f|iconv -f iso8859-1 -t ascii//TRANSLIT)"; echo "move $f => $a"; done
    gibboris · 2011-04-06 17:03:31 0

What Others Think

@renich Thanks! (I love how command-line fu brings out all these uber-useful commands :-)
mpb · 687 weeks and 2 days ago
Under debian/ubuntu, this command is available after installing the 'detox' package.
bwoodacre · 687 weeks and 1 day ago
On Fedora, you have to compile it... Hope to maintain this rpm someday... when I learn how.
renich · 687 weeks ago

What do you think?

Any thoughts on this command? Does it work on your machine? Can you do the same thing with only 14 characters?

You must be signed in to comment.

What's this? is the place to record those command-line gems that you return to again and again. 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.

Share Your Commands

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.


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: