History. There are two historical lines of a
rename command, with the same basic purpose but completely different syntax and capabilities:
rename command in the util-linux package. It appeared in version 2.10e and the program is dated 2000-01-01.
- A perl script, which was distributed with Perl as an example program. The Debian changelog records it being added to Debian in June 1999 (the program itself dates back to at least 1992). Another version, which is backward compatible, comes with Unicode::Tussle (as of Debian jessie, it's called
file-rename, and provided in the
rename package; some other distributions call it
On the one hand, util-linux is a core package, so it's more standard than the Perl example script which was included at Debian's whim. On the other hand, the Perl script was in Debian first. So far, Debian has chosen to preserve compatibility with past Debian release, rather than align with other distributions. Distributions derived from Debian (Ubuntu, Mint, elementary, etc.) tend to follow Debian on this point.
Other distributions didn't have a
rename command when one was added to util-linux, so they naturally include the util-linux version.