Simplifying renaming files.

You navigate to a directory and you find the below staring right back at you:

$ ls | wc -l
$ ls
'2020-12-29 hello.csv'  '2021-12-29 goodbye.csv'   '2022-12-29 fsadf.csv'   '2019-01-12 asdfsdf.csv'
'2020-12-29 adsfsdfsd.csv'  '2022-12-29 adsffsfs.csv'   '2022-12-29 afssdfaf.csv'   '2019-01-12 sdfafdssd.csv'
'2022-12-29 dsfafasff.csv'  '2022-12-29 gfhhgkxc.csv'   '2022-12-29 xcijvxcvo.csv'   '2019-01-12 dadfasdf.csv'

All 492 files!

Spaces and Linux aren’t the best of friends. Especially when your downstream process depends on these files.

How can you fix this?

Well, I would jump to using something along the lines of:

for file in $(ls)
	new_file=$(echo "$file" | sed 's/ //g')
	mv $file $new_file

Which would work after some trial and error. But it’s always a pain to debug and test this.

But when I recently came across this same situation, I was feeling lazy and turned to my friend Google for help. And Google didn’t disappoint! Or rather Stack Overflow didn’t!

Thanks to this brilliant Stack Overflow post, I discovered the rename tool. This How to Rename Files in Linux post also provided a good introduction going over how to install it and several command examples.

  • Installation
  • Example
  • Benefits