Find recursively, from current directory down, files and directories whose names contain single or multiple whitespaces and replace each such occurrence with a single underscore.

find ./ -name '*' -exec rename 's/\s+/_/g' {} \;
Note the g for global in the perl expression; without it, only the first occurrence in the name would be replaced.
Sample Output
foo bar.txt -> foo_bar.txt
bar  foo.txt -> bar_foo.txt

By: pamindic
2009-02-16 09:52:15

What Others Think

hso · 662 weeks and 1 day ago
hah. comment fail. Using the null char to delimit files is generally preferable, and using xargs is more efficient because it causes less execs on large trees. You can use -n with xargs to specify how many parameters you want to pass: find . \( -type f -o - type d \) -print0 |xargs -0 rename 's/\s+/_/g'
hso · 662 weeks and 1 day ago
oh, and FWIW, this is a google interview question (or was at one time), where you're asked to explain how you'd do a bulk rename of files with spaces in them because a vendor provided a bunch of image files for a catalog with hideous file names.
hso · 662 weeks and 1 day ago
No need for the -name "*", find will recursively list all files by default. Also, the suggestion for xargs is a good one, but also not needed with find's '+' operator. find . -exec rename 's/\s+/_/g' {} +
SiegeX · 662 weeks ago
The rename command didn't work as expected from me. I found out I have a different version of the rename command in my distro, Arch Linux. I needed the Debian version of rename, prename in Arch.
vimes656 · 658 weeks and 4 days ago
find overload! :-) Try this:
mpb · 657 weeks and 6 days 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?

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