I have the below list of files


that I need to rename to


Most standard shells provide a way to do simple text substitution within shell variables. http://tldp.org/LDP/abs/html/parameter-substitution.html explains as follows:


First match of Pattern, within var replaced with Replacement.

So use this script to loop through all the appropriate files and rename each of them:

for file in aro_tty-mIF-*_opt
    mv -i "${file}" "${file/-mIF-/-mImpFRA-}"

I have added a -i option so you have the chance to confirm each renaming operation. As always, you should make a backup of all your files before doing any large amount of renaming or deleting.

  • 1
    Strangely, the -i option doesn't prompt for y/n before renaming files on the Redhat system I am on. Anyone know why? – timbram Aug 29 '17 at 14:55
  • Does the -i option to mv have no effect even when you're typing it to the shell directly (not using find)? – Mark Plotnick Aug 29 '17 at 15:03
  • Good call. Looks like I do not have that feature on the shared Red Hat server I am using. – timbram Aug 29 '17 at 15:10
  • 1
    "Hashed" is just a feature of your shell. /bin/mv is a plausible location for mv. As for mv not honoring the -i option, that's not standard. Maybe you have an older system or someone installed a custom version of mv. – Mark Plotnick Aug 29 '17 at 15:42
  • 1
    @YngvarKristiansen Those strings are parts of the filenames used by the original poster. They're not command options or anything like that. – Mark Plotnick Nov 27 '19 at 14:45

If you don't have Perl's rename:

perl -e '
FILE:for $file (@ARGV){
        ($new_name = $file) =~ s/-mIF-/-mImpFRA-/
        next FILE if -e $new_name;
        rename $file => $new_name
}' *_opt

If you do have Perl's rename:

rename 's/-mIF-/-mImpFRA-/' *_opt
  • @Udhayakumar Why does the solution need to use mv? – Joseph R. Nov 26 '13 at 17:07

Before trying complex commands like the following, backup your files. You never know what a typo (mine or yours) can cause.

With mv (as you asked in comment --- rename as suggested in the other answer is probably safer, especially if you can have spaces or strange chars in your filenames) something of the style

for f in *_opt; do
    a="$(echo $f | sed s/-mIF-/-mImpFRA-/)"
    mv "$f" "$a"

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