I tried to use the command:

mv *.1.gz.html *.html

But, I got the response:

<filename> is not a directory.

How can I get this working? I tried the rename command as well, but, I couldn't get that working either. Too much regex for me.

I think using xargs would work, if I understood that better.


2 Answers 2


mv either renames a single file or moves many files into a single directory.

If you want to rename many files you probably want to use rename.

Depending on your version of rename you do:

 rename .1.gz.html .html *.1.gz.html


 rename 's/\.1\.gz\.html/\.html/' *.1.gz.html

The first version is a bit easier to write the second one is more powerful and sometimes available as perl-rename. Have a look at man rename to find the correct syntax.

  • The 2nd rename worked. The first and simple one gave me an error. I have version 5.20.2 of rename installed.
    – linstar
    Jul 5, 2015 at 12:02
  • This also worked for me: rename 's/1\.gz\.//' *.1.gz.html
    – linstar
    Jul 5, 2015 at 12:12

A wildcard like that gets expanded into everything that matches it before the mv command even runs. Making matters worse is that *.html will also match your *.1.gz.html files.

This means that (for example two files named abc.1.gz.html and def.1.gz.html) your command above is essentially running:

mv abc.1.gz.html def.1.gz.html abc.1.gz.html def.1.gz.html

This will try and move abc.1.gz.html and def.1.gz.html into a directory called def.1.gz.html. Thankfully this fails as that file is not a directory.

You'll need to script something to look at each file one at a time eg:

for file in *.1.gz.html; do
  mv "$file" "`echo $file | sed 's/\.gz\.html$/.html/'`"

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .