Can anyone recommend a safe solution to recursively replace spaces with underscores in file and directory names starting from a given root directory? For example:

$ tree
|-- a dir
|   `-- file with spaces.txt
`-- b dir
    |-- another file with spaces.txt
    `-- yet another file with spaces.pdf


$ tree
|-- a_dir
|   `-- file_with_spaces.txt
`-- b_dir
    |-- another_file_with_spaces.txt
    `-- yet_another_file_with_spaces.pdf

Solution 1

I use:

for f in *\ *; do mv "$f" "${f// /_}"; done

Though it's not recursive, it's quite fast and simple. I'm sure someone here could update it to be recursive.

The ${f// /_} part utilizes bash's parameter expansion mechanism to replace a pattern within a parameter with supplied string. The relevant syntax is ${parameter/pattern/string}. See: or .

Solution 2

Use rename (aka prename) which is a Perl script which may be on your system already. Do it in two steps:

find . -name "* *" -type d | rename 's/ /_/g'    # do the directories first
find . -name "* *" -type f | rename 's/ /_/g'

Based on Jürgen's answer and able to handle multiple layers of files and directories in a single bound using the "Revision 1.5 1998/12/18 16:16:31 rmb1" version of /usr/bin/rename (a Perl script):

find /tmp/ -depth -name "* *" -execdir rename 's/ /_/g' "{}" \;

Solution 3

find . -depth -name '* *' \
| while IFS= read -r f ; do mv -i "$f" "$(dirname "$f")/$(basename "$f"|tr ' ' _)" ; done

failed to get it right at first, because I didn't think of directories.

Solution 4

you can use detox by Doug Harple

detox -r <folder>

Solution 5

A find/rename solution. rename is part of util-linux.

You need to descend depth first, because a whitespace filename can be part of a whitespace directory:

find /tmp/ -depth -name "* *" -execdir rename " " "_" "{}" ";"

Solution 6

you can use this:

find . -depth -name '* *' | while read fname 

        new_fname=`echo $fname | tr " " "_"`

        if [ -e $new_fname ]
                echo "File $new_fname already exists. Not replacing $fname"
                echo "Creating new file $new_fname to replace $fname"
                mv "$fname" $new_fname

Solution 7

bash 4.0

shopt -s globstar
for file in **/*\ *
    mv "$file" "${file// /_}"       

Solution 8

Recursive version of Naidim's Answers.

find . -name "* *" | awk '{ print length, $0 }' | sort -nr -s | cut -d" " -f2- | while read f; do base=$(basename "$f"); newbase="${base// /_}"; mv "$(dirname "$f")/$(basename "$f")" "$(dirname "$f")/$newbase"; done

Solution 9

In macOS

Just like the chosen answer.

brew install rename

cd <your dir>
find . -name "* *" -type d | rename 's/ /_/g'    # do the directories first
find . -name "* *" -type f | rename 's/ /_/g'

Solution 10

For those struggling through this using macOS, first install all the tools:

 brew install tree findutils rename

Then when needed to rename, make an alias for GNU find (gfind) as find. Then run the code of @Michel Krelin:

alias find=gfind 
find . -depth -name '* *' \
| while IFS= read -r f ; do mv -i "$f" "$(dirname "$f")/$(basename "$f"|tr ' ' _)" ; done   

Solution 11

Here's a (quite verbose) find -exec solution which writes "file already exists" warnings to stderr:

function trspace() {
   declare dir name bname dname newname replace_char
   [ $# -lt 1 -o $# -gt 2 ] && { echo "usage: trspace dir char"; return 1; }
   find "${dir}" -xdev -depth -name $'*[ \t\r\n\v\f]*' -exec bash -c '
      for ((i=1; i<=$#; i++)); do
         if [[ -e "${newname}" ]]; then
            echo "Warning: file already exists: ${newname}" 1>&2
            mv "${name}" "${newname}"
  ' "${replace_char}" '{}' +

trspace rootdir _

Solution 12

This one does a little bit more. I use it to rename my downloaded torrents (no special characters (non-ASCII), spaces, multiple dots, etc.).


&rena(`find . -type d`);
&rena(`find . -type f`);

sub rena
    ($elems)[email protected]_;
    @t=split /\n/,$elems;

    for $e (@t)
    # remove ./ of find
    # non ascii transliterate
    tr [\200-\377][_];
    tr [\000-\40][_];
    # special characters we do not want in paths
    s/[ \-\,\;\?\+\'\"\!\[\]\(\)\@\#]/_/g;
    # multiple dots except for extension
    while (/\..*\./)
    # only one _ consecutive
    next if ($_ eq $e ) or ("./$_" eq $e);
    print "$e -> $_\n";
    rename ($e,$_);

Solution 13

I found around this script, it may be interesting :)

 IFS=$'\n';for f in `find .`; do file=$(echo $f | tr [:blank:] '_'); [ -e $f ] && [ ! -e $file ] && mv "$f" $file;done;unset IFS

Solution 14

Here's a reasonably sized bash script solution

    for y in $(ls $1)
         mv $1/`echo $y | sed 's/ /\\ /g'` $1/`echo "$y" | sed 's/ /_/g'`

Solution 15

An easy alternative to recursive version is to increase the range of for loop step by step(n times for n sub-levels irrespective of number of sub-directories at each level). i.e from the outermost directory run these.

for f in *; do mv "$f" "${f// /_}"; done 

for f in */*; do mv "$f" "${f// /_}"; done 

for f in */*/*; do mv "$f" "${f// /_}"; done 

To check/understand what's being done, run the following before and after the above steps.

for f in *;do echo $f;done 

for f in */*;do echo $f;done 

for f in */*/*;do echo $f;done 

Solution 16

This only finds files inside the current directory and renames them. I have this aliased.

find ./ -name "* *" -type f -d 1 | perl -ple '$file = $_; $file =~ s/\s+/_/g; rename($_, $file);

Solution 17

I just make one for my own purpose. You may can use it as reference.

cd /vzwhome/c0cheh1/dev_source/UB_14_8
for file in *
    echo $file
    cd "/vzwhome/c0cheh1/dev_source/UB_14_8/$file/Configuration/$file"
    echo "==> `pwd`"
    for subfile in *\ *; do [ -d "$subfile" ] && ( mv "$subfile" "$(echo $subfile | sed -e 's/ /_/g')" ); done
    cd /vzwhome/c0cheh1/dev_source/UB_14_8

Solution 18

For files in folder named /files

for i in `IFS="";find /files -name *\ *`
   echo $i
done > /tmp/list

while read line
   mv "$line" `echo $line | sed 's/ /_/g'`
done < /tmp/list

rm /tmp/list

Solution 19

My solution to the problem is a bash script:

cd "$directory"
while [ "$(find ./ -regex '.* .*' | wc -l)" -gt 0 ];
do filename="$(find ./ -regex '.* .*' | head -n 1)"
mv "$filename" "$(echo "$filename" | sed 's|'" "'|_|g')"

just put the directory name, on which you want to apply the script, as an argument after executing the script.

Solution 20

Use below command to replace space with underscore in filename as well as directory name.

find -name "* *" -print0 | sort -rz | \
  while read -d $'\0' f; do mv -v "$f" "$(dirname "$f")/$(basename "${f// /_}")"; done

Solution 21

If you need to rename only files in one directory by replacing all spaces. Then you can use this command with rename.ul:

for i in *' '*; do rename.ul ' ' '_' *; done