You need to use the mv command or rename command to rename a file in bash shell.
Rename a file in bash using mv
We need to give SOURCE file to DESTINATION file using the following mv command syntax:
mv oldname newname mv SOURCE DEST mv olddir newdir mv old-file new-file
Rename SOURCE to DEST, or move SOURCE(s) to DIRECTORY
Task: Rename A File Called /tmp/foo To /tmp/bar
Type the following command (open terminal and issue the following commands):
# create /tmp/foo touch /tmp/foo ls -l /tmp/foo mv /tmp/foo /tmp/bar ls -l /tmp/bar ls -l /tmp/foo
The ls command lists files in the current working directory or given directory in Linux or Unix-like systems.
Task: Rename A Directory Called offfer To offers
Type the following command:
mv offfer offers ## or tell us what mv is doing by passing the -v option ## mv -v offfer offers
Task: Prompt Before Overwrite
The -i option is interactively file processing option. You get an error message before moving a file that would overwrite an existing file. If the response from the user begins with the character y or Y, the move / rename is attempted.
touch /tmp/test mv -i /tmp/test /tmp/bar
mv: overwrite `/tmp/bar'? y
The -u Option
The -u option move only when the SOURCE file is newer than the destination file or when the destination file is missing:
mv -u data.txt /mnt/floppy/backup.txt
The -v Option
The -v option explain what is being done:
mv -v /tmp/bar /tmp/output.txt
`/tmp/bar' -> `/tmp/output.txt'
Task: Rename multiple files
Use rename command renames multiple files. For example rename all *.perl file as *.pl, enter:
rename .perl .pl *.perl
See howto rename multiple files at a shell prompt for further details.
Summary of all mv command options
To rename a file in bash we use mv command:
- -v : Verbose option. In other words, display the progress of the files as they are being moved or renamed in a bash shell
- -i : Prompt before overwriting files
- -u : Move only when the SOURCE file is newer than the destination file or when the destination file is missing in a bash shell
- -f : Do not prompt before overwriting files
To see list of all mv command options, type:
Usage: mv [OPTION]... [-T] SOURCE DEST or: mv [OPTION]... SOURCE... DIRECTORY or: mv [OPTION]... -t DIRECTORY SOURCE... Rename SOURCE to DEST, or move SOURCE(s) to DIRECTORY. Mandatory arguments to long options are mandatory for short options too. --backup[=CONTROL] make a backup of each existing destination file -b like --backup but does not accept an argument -f, --force do not prompt before overwriting -i, --interactive prompt before overwrite -n, --no-clobber do not overwrite an existing file If you specify more than one of -i, -f, -n, only the final one takes effect. --strip-trailing-slashes remove any trailing slashes from each SOURCE argument -S, --suffix=SUFFIX override the usual backup suffix -t, --target-directory=DIRECTORY move all SOURCE arguments into DIRECTORY -T, --no-target-directory treat DEST as a normal file -u, --update move only when the SOURCE file is newer than the destination file or when the destination file is missing -v, --verbose explain what is being done -Z, --context set SELinux security context of destination file to default type --help display this help and exit --version output version information and exit The backup suffix is '~', unless set with --suffix or SIMPLE_BACKUP_SUFFIX. The version control method may be selected via the --backup option or through the VERSION_CONTROL environment variable. Here are the values: none, off never make backups (even if --backup is given) numbered, t make numbered backups existing, nil numbered if numbered backups exist, simple otherwise simple, never always make simple backups GNU coreutils online help: <http://www.gnu.org/software/coreutils/> Report mv translation bugs to <http://translationproject.org/team/> Full documentation at: <http://www.gnu.org/software/coreutils/mv> or available locally via: info '(coreutils) mv invocation'
To rename a file or directory in bash, use the mv command. The third word on the mv command line must end in the new filename. Hence, the syntax is a follows to renames the file cakeday.png to birthday.png:
mv cakeday.png birthday.png