In Xubuntu you can select multiple files, right-click, click rename, and it will open a really useful interface for mass renaming files. Can this be installed and used on other desktops like Gnome/Unity/MATE/etc?

I like it better than any other file renamer I've tried, partially because it integrates with right-click unlike any others I've tried. I also like XFCE, but there are several bugs in Xubuntu and/or XFCE that I keep running into that have forced me away from it.

Is the renaming function a program that can be installed separately, or is it an integrated feature of XFCE so it can't be used without? Thank you.

Edit: So apparently it's a Thunar plugin I guess? But is Thunar or its plugins inextricably linked to XFCE?

Info and screenshot for the plugin: http://docs.xfce.org/xfce/thunar/bulk-renamer/start

  • Can you show a screenshot of the dialogue?
    – cat
    Jun 11, 2017 at 15:21
  • @cat It would have made sense to show that, wouldn't it have. :S Give me a few minutes. Thanks. Jun 11, 2017 at 15:34
  • Speaking of rename and if you like regex and your shell, there's always rename(1)
    – cat
    Jun 13, 2017 at 10:21

3 Answers 3

sudo apt install --no-install-recommends thunar

That will install thunar without some clutter that isn't needed.

In MATE that will put two entries in the Applications menu: System Tools/Bulk Rename and System Tools/Thunar File Manager

Opening Bulk Rename works fine, but obviously isn't available from right-click if you're just opening the program by itself.

Opening Thunar will open an XFCE style window from which multiple files can be right-clicked and renamed.

I was worried that installing it would override my default file manager, but it does not. Opening windows any of the normal ways will open a default file manager window at least in MATE. Only running thunar or using the menu option will open a Thunar window.

So that works okay! Not quite as convenient as being able to integrate it with whatever your main file manager is, but it works well enough! Sorry to not research the question more before asking! :S

Source: http://www.webupd8.org/2016/03/quickly-batch-rename-files-in-linux.html



Installing Thunar on Kubuntu 14.04 (with no Xfce packages previously installed) required 2.8MB of downloads, 23 packages.

And the rename function is available and looks, as you say, really useful. It looks like it's only accessible by launching Thunar.

  • 1
    Heh. Sorry @joep I was writing my answer as you were posting yours. Again, I'm sorry for not doing a better job researching it before asking! Thank you! Jun 11, 2017 at 15:59

As a complementary answer: to be sure Thunar is not interfering with the system settings—after installing with sudo apt install --no-install-recommends thunar:

  • copy the file /usr/bin/thunar anywhere in your user directory (e.g. ~/my-applications)
  • copy the launcher (.desktop) files for Thunar and Bulk Rename from /usr/share/applications to ~/.local/share/applications
  • edit those launchers (the Exec= line) so that they run the aforementioned file (e.g. ~/my-applications/thunar)
  • uninstall Thunar (but not the remaining dependencies: note that running sudo apt autoremove will remove those and Thunar will stop working.)

An alternative to removing Thunar (and thus to the entire solution above) is to keep its default executable (usr/share/applications/thunar) and launchers but disable its undesired interaction with the system as said under here.

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