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I am looking for a unix command-line program for renaming file (or files) visually, in an editor or inline (in the same manner as you rename a file on your desktop).

Example. I often need to rename a file somewhere deep. Imagine a file with a wrong .js.txt extension (_ is a cursor):

$ mv deep/inside/there/is/a/file.js.txt _

It is confusing to repeat the whole path as second argument to mv:

$ mv deep/inside/there/is/a/file.js.txt deep/inside/there/is/a/file.js

(I know I can use the mouse, but it is still error-prone). I'd better press Home and change mv to a visual renamer (imagine it's called vmv). E.g.:

$ vmv somewhere/deep/inside/there/is/a/file.js.txt
EDIT FILE NAME: somewhere/deep/inside/there/is/a/file.js.txt_
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I don't know what remane files in an editor means.. do you mean while open? I don't know if it's possible to rename a file while open in an editor. If you mean writing the copy commands in an editor, how about writing a script, you write your mv lines in there , copy/paste for any repetition of a long directory, and execute it? –  barlop Jul 14 '11 at 18:54
mv deep/inside/there/is/a/file.js{.txt,} –  Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Jul 14 '11 at 18:58
possible duplicate of Reuse text on a bash command –  Nifle Jul 14 '11 at 19:02
@Nifle, thanks for pointers! I wasn't looking for bash-specific solution. I use fish as my shell. That's why I didn't mention bash in the question. –  user31494 Jul 15 '11 at 10:38
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1 Answer

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Write your own. Put this in a file called vmv, make it executable, put it in ~/bin or wherever you'd like:

for oldname; do
    read -rep "Edit: " -i "$oldname" newname
    if [[ $oldname != $newname ]]; then
        mv -v "$oldname" "$newname" || exit $?

Does exactly what you want.

In bash, you can edit the current command line in an editor:

mv deep/inside/there/is/a/file.js.txt Ctrl-XCtrl-E

moreutils has:


Debian comes with a Perl script that accepts regexps:

prename 's/\.txt$//' file.js.txt
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+1 for two extra solutions I never even knew about (bash and vidir) –  OrbWeaver Jul 14 '11 at 19:45
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