I have the following command which renames a number of files found by the find command by adding the suffix "processed". How would I modify this to also add a prefix like "ren" ?

find . -type f -name 'file*.dat' -execdir mv {} {}_processed ';'
  • find . -type f -name 'file*.dat' -execdir mv "{}" "ren_{}" \;. – DopeGhoti Jun 6 '17 at 19:04
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    @DopeGhoti this won't work because find results has full path format. – mkc Jun 6 '17 at 19:07
  • @Ketan, well, depends. GNU find adds ./ to the front even with -execdir, the (probably ancient) BSD find on macOS doesn't. – ilkkachu Jun 6 '17 at 19:11
  • Oh, of course. use "ren_$(basename {})" perhaps? – DopeGhoti Jun 6 '17 at 19:11
  • at least with GNU find you could do -execdir sh -c 'for f; do mv -- "$f" "ren_${f##*/}"; done' sh {} + – steeldriver Jun 6 '17 at 21:51

Consider using rename command (based on Perl expression):

find . -type f -name "file*.dat" -execdir rename 's/(file.*?\.dat)$/ren_$1_processed/' {} +

Note the rename regex needs to be lazy lest it catches a file in the directory portion. Plus, rename can happily take multiple arguments.

This will rename all files provided by find command adding prefix ren_ and suffix _processed on both sides of the "base" file name

| improve this answer | |
  • Also note that as written, it wouldn't rename a $'file\n.dat' file (you'd need to add the s flag for . to match the newline) – Stéphane Chazelas Jun 7 '17 at 10:36
  • @StéphaneChazelas, your approach rename '$_ = "ren_${_}_processed"' will not work because of "full path format". You'll get something like Can't rename ./file2.dat ren_./file2.dat_processed: No such file or directory. You should have known that having over 210K reputation – RomanPerekhrest Jun 7 '17 at 10:40
  • Right, it's true that some find implementations include the ./ prefix with -execdir while some others don't (I knew it indeed but overlooked it here, sorry) – Stéphane Chazelas Jun 7 '17 at 11:24

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