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Rename or remove files in a directory using an editor

Project description


If you want to rename files in a directory, things get really cumbersome if:

  • the name modifications are not easily automatable (e.g. spelling mistakes)

  • file names contain spaces / special characters (when using a shell)

  • you have to rename a lot of files (when using a GUI)

  • you would need to use temporary files (e.g. mv a tmp ; mv b a ; mv tmp b)

  • etc.

This script launches a used-defined text editor with a temporary file, where every line is a filename in the directory. This enables the user to rename (edit a line) or delete (blank line) entries. After saving and exiting the editor, the script checks the file for consistency, detects rename loops and finally performs the changes.




Require Python 3.6 (no new features, just usage of “try … from”)



Support renaming of intermediate dirs in recursive mode, drop --safe mode, small bugfixes



Bugfixes, Python 3 support, -o and -L option, extensive test suite






First working version


Rename non-hidden files in the current directory:


Rename mp3 files in the music directory using gedit:

dir_edit -e gedit ~/Music ~/Music/*.mp3

Review changes before executing them:

dir_edit -vd -L log.txt
view log.txt
sh -e log.txt

Rename pictures with maximum directory depth 2:

find pics -maxdepth 2 -type f -iregex ".*\.\(jpg\|png\)" > file_list
dir_edit -i file_list


dir_edit [OPTION]... [DIR] [FILES]...

  DIR        directory to edit (default: current directory)
  FILES      limit to these filenames (default: all non-hidden in directory)

Some options:

  -e CMD, --editor=CMD       use CMD to edit dirfile (default: $EDITOR or vi)
  -d, --dry-run              don't perform any file system modifications
  -v, --verbose              output filesystem modifications to stdout
  -L FILE, --logfile FILE    path to logfile for verbose mode (default: stdout)
  -i FILE, --input FILE      FILE containing paths to be edited

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