I have several ZIP and RAR archives where the filenames inside the archive are scrambled and they contain invalid filesystem characters like ?-s *-s or !-s or very long file and directory names that confuse the usual archiver tools or they simply fail to create the file. Since only the content matters I would just like to extract the files in these archives into a single directory in a flat structure with generic names like file0, file1, file2, etc... What's the simplest way to do that?

  • 1
    Maybe you can code a script in a language with a Zip library (such as Python) which will loop over the entries of the zipfile to extract them under a new name?
    – lgeorget
    Jan 28, 2016 at 14:01
  • You're saying that the filenames inside the ZIP are corrupted? Or that the ZIP archive filename itself is corrupted? Jan 28, 2016 at 14:22
  • @igeorget If that's the simlplest way. Though I have never programmed in Python yet.
    – Calmarius
    Jan 28, 2016 at 14:22
  • @roaima The filenames inside the archive are corrupted.
    – Calmarius
    Jan 28, 2016 at 14:23
  • 2
    See also rename files in a zip archive before extracting (there'a python solution there...) Jan 28, 2016 at 14:44

1 Answer 1


There is a Perl script written by Daniel S. Sterling available at https://gist.github.com/eqhmcow/5389877 (referenced from IO::Uncompress::Unzip) that looks like it could almost do what you need.

  • Change line 46 to read my $status, $filenumber = 0;
  • Comment lines 52-54 (put # at the beginning of each line)
  • Change line 61 to read my $destfile = "file" . $filenumber++;

The entire script, with these modifications, is presented below for reference:

# example perl code, this may not actually run without tweaking, especially on Windows

use strict;
use warnings;

IO::Uncompress::Unzip works great to process zip files; but, it doesn't include a routine to actually
extract an entire zip file.
Other modules like Archive::Zip include their own unzip routines, which aren't as robust as IO::Uncompress::Unzip;
eg. they don't work on zip64 archive files.
So, the following is code to actually use IO::Uncompress::Unzip to extract a zip file.

use File::Spec::Functions qw(splitpath);
use IO::File;
use IO::Uncompress::Unzip qw($UnzipError);
use File::Path qw(mkpath);

# example code to call unzip:

=head2 unzip
Extract a zip file, using IO::Uncompress::Unzip.
Arguments: file to extract, destination path
    unzip('stuff.zip', '/tmp/unzipped');

sub unzip {
    my ($file, $dest) = @_;

    die 'Need a file argument' unless defined $file;
    $dest = "." unless defined $dest;

    my $u = IO::Uncompress::Unzip->new($file)
        or die "Cannot open $file: $UnzipError";

    my $status, $filenumber = 0;
    for ($status = 1; $status > 0; $status = $u->nextStream()) {
        my $header = $u->getHeaderInfo();
        my (undef, $path, $name) = splitpath($header->{Name});
        my $destdir = "$dest/$path";

        # unless (-d $destdir) {
        #     mkpath($destdir) or die "Couldn't mkdir $destdir: $!";
        # }

        if ($name =~ m!/$!) {
            last if $status < 0;

        my $destfile = "file" . $filenumber++;
        my $buff;
        my $fh = IO::File->new($destfile, "w")
            or die "Couldn't write to $destfile: $!";
        while (($status = $u->read($buff)) > 0) {
        my $stored_time = $header->{'Time'};
        utime ($stored_time, $stored_time, $destfile)
            or die "Couldn't touch $destfile: $!";

    die "Error processing $file: $!\n"
        if $status < 0 ;



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