These are the files in the directory:



I would like to sort these into subfolders:


using prename (perl renamer)

prename 'if(/(.+?)-(.+?)-(.*)/){mkdir $2; $_="$2/$_"}' *.jpg
  • This works perfect. Thanks! Now would using the first part of the filename be as simple as changing the "2" to "1"? – Mike Nov 5 '16 at 18:17
  • yes: each parenthesis grout captures a matching string available under $1, $2... – JJoao Nov 5 '16 at 19:23
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    does this call mkdir for each file ? if so, shouldn't it use -p flag ? – Ciprian Tomoiagă Nov 6 '16 at 0:18
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    @CiprianTomoiaga, this is the perl function mkdir not the bash mkdir. Internally the function returns false is dir already exists. In this case there is no problem in ignoring it. – JJoao Nov 6 '16 at 1:11
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    One liners are all right, but consider adding at least some explanation. – heemayl Nov 6 '16 at 4:51

The obvious answer:

Just make the directories and put the files in them.

mkdir Mustang Impala
mv *Mustang*.jpg Mustang/
mv *Impala*.jpg Impala/

This is called file globbing; it's a shell feature.

If you have huge numbers of files and need to make many different directories to accommodate them, try JJoao's answer.

  • Wildcard, OP wants to move files into a sub-folder based on filename part so it's kinda obvious that the above is just an example. I know you can do better than this... – don_crissti Nov 5 '16 at 17:23
  • @don_crissti, I would think this is just an example, if I hadn't been looking at questions from new users all morning. ;) I upvoted the other answer, but I'll leave this here in case someone is looking for the stupid-simple solution. – Wildcard Nov 5 '16 at 17:26
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    As someone in the process of learning the commands, this is helpful as well. Thanks! – Mike Nov 5 '16 at 18:18

I would split thw filename using awk awk {split $0, a, "-"; mkdir a[1]; mv $0 a[1]/} if you want to rename you could do this with the mv program

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