Unix Command To Rename A Folder

in Categories , , , last updated January 7, 2014

How do I rename a folder under UNIX operating systems using a command line tools?

You need to use the mv command to rename a folder under UNIX operating systems. You must have write permission for all folders.

Syntax to rename a directory on Unix

The syntax is as follows:
mv old-folder-name new-folder-name

OR

mv /path/to/old /path/to/new

Example: Unix rename a directory command

In this example, a folder called drivers is renamed as olddrivers. Open a terminal (shell prompt) and type the following commands:

ls
mv drivers oldrivers 
ls

OR pass the -v option to get verbose output:

ls
mv -v drivers oldrivers 
ls

Do not prompt for confirmation before overwriting

mv -f dir1 dir2

Prompt for confirmation before overwriting

mv -i dir1 dir2

Pass the -n option to mv command to do not overwrite an existing file/dirname. The -n option overrides any previous -f or -i options:

mv -n dir1 dir2
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Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.

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7 comment

  1. I how do I move a file or folder into another directory? I have tried mv file.rtf ~/Documents mv ~/file.rtf ~/Documents and mv ~/file.rtf ~/Documents/ none of these work.

  2. ~ (tilt) means that you are working in the root directory and in root directory you can not do any changes if you have not only linux as your single o.s.
    so (move, rename )changes can be done in home directory only in that case.

  3. I would like to rename all “OK-” directory to “KESZ-” For example from: OK-Brooklyn.Nine.Nine.S02E10.WEB-DL.x264.HUN-SFY I wold like to this: KESZ-Brooklyn.Nine.Nine.S02E10.WEB-DL.x264.HUN-SFY
    I need some help :D

  4. For some reason it didn’t work with hidden folders for me. :(

    mv .dir .dir2
    mv: cannot move ‘.dir’ to ‘.dir2’: Directory not empty

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