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This one has baffled me – I'm actually trying to make a Thunar custom action to copy the selected file into the same directory appending a number before the extension, e.g.

cp file.ext file_1.ext

Some commands seem to do this automatically like the mogrify -format (except obviously the extension changes).

For example I'd like to copy an image file so that I can mogrify -resize the copy (which will be overwritten).

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

The common way to do this in bash is with parameter expansion. If the file variable holds the filename do something like this:


cp "$file" "$new_file"

To use this in a script ( say), do something like this:



cp -v "$1" "${name}${infix}.${extension}"

Then call it as: FILE INFIX
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You could of course wrap that in a shell function and actually copy the file. – slhck Jul 12 '12 at 21:43
Forgot it was about copying, modified answer. – Thor Jul 12 '12 at 21:45
cp "$name"{,_1}."${extension} can be used to eliminate the need for the new_file variable. – chepner Jul 12 '12 at 21:50
@chepner Post that as an answer. – slhck Jul 12 '12 at 22:02
for safety, one could include a loop checking whether new_file already exists, to avoid it being overwritten (something like while [ -f "$new_file" ]; do i=i+1; new_file="${name}_${i}.${extension}; done). – Izzy Jul 13 '12 at 9:25

This is just a slightly shorter version of @Thor's answer:


cp "$name"{,_1}."$extension"
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