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Utility to rename, remove, and copy files/dirs using your editor

Project description

EDIR - Rename, Delete, and Copy Files and Directories Using Your Editor

edir is a command line utility to rename, remove, and copy filenames and directories using your text editor. Run it in the current directory and edir will open your editor on a list of files and directories in that directory. Each item in the directory will appear on its own numbered line. These numbers are how edir keeps track of what items are changed. Delete lines to remove files/directories, edit lines to rename files/directories, or duplicate line numbers to copy files/directories. You can also switch pairs of numbers to swap files or directories. If run from within a Git repository, edir will use Git to rename or delete tracked files/directories.

The latest version and documentation is available at

Advantages Compared to Vidir

edir unashamedly mimics the functionality of the vidir utility from moreutils but aims to improve it in the following ways:

  1. edir automatically uses git mv instead of mv and git rm instead of rm for tracked files when working in a Git repository. There is also a -G/--no-git option to suppress this default action. See the description in the section below about the git options.

  2. vidir presents file and directories equivalently but edir adds a trailing slash / to visually discriminate directories. E.g. if afile and bfile are files, adir and bdir are directories, then vidir presents these in your editor as follows.

    1	./a
    2	./b
    3	./c
    4	./d

    But edir presents these as:

    1	./a
    2	./b
    3	./c/
    4	./d/

    Note the trailing slash is only for presentation in your editor. You are not required to ensure it is present after editing. E.g. editing line 3 above to ./e (or even just to e) would still rename the directory c to e.

    Note also, that both edir and vidir show the leading ./ on each entry so that any leading spaces are clearly seen, and can be edited.

  3. edir adds the ability to copy files or directories one or more times when you duplicate a numbered line. vidir does not have copy functionality.

  4. edir allows you to remove a file/directory by deleting the line, as vidir does, but you can also remove it by pre-pending a # to "comment it out" or by substituting an entirely blank line.

  5. By default, edir prints remove, rename, and copy messages whereas vidir prints messages only when the -v/--verbose switch is added. You can add -q/--quiet to edir to suppress these messages.

  6. When vidir is run with the -v/--verbose switch then it reports the renaming of original to intermediate temporary to final files if files are swapped etc. That is rather an implementation detail so edir only reports the original to final renames which is all the user really cares about.

  7. To remove a large recursive tree you must pipe the directory tree to vidir and then explicitly remove all children files and directories before deleting a parent directory. You can do this also in edir of course (and arguably it is probably the safest approach) but there are times when you really want to let edir remove recursively so edir adds a -r/--recurse switch to allow this. BE CAREFUL USING THIS!

  8. vidir always shows all files and directories in a directory, including hidden files and directories (i.e. those starting with a .). Usually a user does not want to be bothered with these so edir by default does not show them. They can be included by adding the -a/--all switch.

  9. edir does not require the user to specify the - if something has been piped to standard input. E.g. you need only type find | edir as opposed to find | edir -. Note that vidir requires the second form.

  10. edir adds a -F/--files option to only show files, or -D/--dirs to only show directories.

  11. edir adds a -L/--nolinks option to ignore symbolic links.

  12. edir adds a -d/--dirnames option to edit specified directory names directly, not their contents. I.e. this is like ls -d mydir compared to ls mydir.

  13. edir adds a -t/--trash option to delete to your Trash. This option invokes trash-put from the trash-cli package to do deletions.

  14. edir shows a message "No files or directories" if there is nothing to edit, rather than opening an empty file to edit.

  15. edir filters out any duplicate paths you may inadvertently specify on it's command line.

  16. edir always invokes a consistent duplicate renaming scheme. E.g. if you rename b, c, d all to the same pre-existing name a then edir will rename b to a~, c to a~1, d to a~2. Depending on order of operations, vidir is not always consistent about this, E.g. sometimes it creates a a~1 with no a~ (this may be a bug in vidir that nobody has ever bothered to report/address?).

  17. edir creates the temporary editing file with a .sh suffix so your EDITOR may syntax highlight the entries. Optionally, you can change this default suffix.

  18. edir provides an optional environment value to add custom options to the invocation of your editor. See section below.

  19. edir provides an optional configuration file to set default edir command line arguments. See section below.

  20. Contrary to what it's name implies, vidir actually respects your $EDITOR variable and runs your preferred editor like edir does but edir has been given a generic name to make this more apparent.

  21. edir is very strict about the format of the lines you edit and immediately exits with an error message (before changing anything) if you format one of the lines incorrectly. All lines in the edited list:

    1. Must start with a number and that number must be in range.
    2. Must have at least one white space/tab after the number,
    3. Must have a remaining valid path name.
    4. Can start with a # or be completely blank to be considered the same as deleted.

    Note the final edited order of lines does not matter, only the first number value is used to match the newly edited line to the original line so an easy way to swap two file names is just to swap their numbers.

  22. edir always actions files consistently. The sequence of operations applied is:

    1. Deleted files are removed and all renamed files and directories are renamed to temporaries. The temporaries are made on the same file-system as the target.

    2. Empty deleted directories are removed.

    3. Renamed temporary files and directories are renamed to their target name. Any required copies are created.

    4. Remaining deleted directories are removed.

    In simple terms, remember that files are processed before directories so you can rename files into a different directory and then delete the original directory, all in one edit.

Renames and Deletes in a GIT Repository

When working within a Git repository, you nearly always want to use git mv instead of mv and git rm instead of rm for files and directories so edir recognises this and does it automatically. Note that only tracked files/dirs are moved or renamed using Git. Untracked files/dirs within the repository are removed or renamed in the normal way.

If for some reason you don't want automatic git action then you can set the --no-git option as a default option, see the section below on how to set default options. If you set --no-git as the default, then you can use -g/-git on the command line to turn that default option off temporarily.

Using Trash

Given how easy edir facilitates deleting files, some users may prefer to delete them to system Trash from where they can be later listed and/or recovered. Specifying -t/--trash does this by executing the trash-put command, from the trash-cli package, to remove files rather than removing them natively.

You may want to set -t/--trash as a default option. If you do so then you can use -T on the command line to turn that default option off temporarily.


Arch users can install edir from the AUR.

Python 3.6 or later is required. Note edir is on PyPI so you can just do:

$ sudo pip3 install edir

or, to install from this source repository:

$ git clone
$ cd edir
$ sudo pip3 install .

Optionally, if you are using an odd system and/or want to install this manually then all you need to do is rename as edir and make it executable somewhere in your path.

Edir runs on pure Python. No 3rd party packages are required. Git must be installed if you want to use the git options. The trash-cli package is required if you want -t/--trash functionality.

EDIR_EDITOR Environment Variable

edir selects your editor from the first environment value found of: $EDIR_EDITOR, $VISUAL, $EDITOR, then falls back to "vi" if none of these are set.

You can also EDIR_EDITOR explicitly to an editor + arguments string if you want edir to call your editor with specific arguments.

EDIR Command Default Arguments

You can add default arguments to a personal configuration file ~/.config/edir-flags.conf. If that file exists then each line of arguments will be concatenated and automatically prepended to your edir command line arguments.

This allow you to set default preferred starting arguments to edir. Type edir -h to see the arguments supported.

The options --all, --recurse, --quiet, --no-git, --trash, --suffix, are sensible candidates to consider setting as default. If you set these then "on-the-fly" negation options -A, -R, -Q, -g, -T, are also provided to temporarily override and disable default options on the command line.


Rename and/or delete any files and directories in the current directory:

$ edir

Rename and/or delete any jpeg files in current dir:

$ edir *.jpg

Rename and/or delete any files under current directory and subdirectories:

$ find | edir -F

Use fd to view and git mv/rm repository files only, in the current directory only:

$ fd -d1 -tf | edir -g

Command Line Options

usage: edir [-h] [-a] [-A] [-r] [-R] [-q] [-Q] [-G] [-g] [-d] [-t] [-T]
            [-F | -D] [-L] [--suffix SUFFIX]
            [args [args ...]]

Program to rename, remove, or copy files and directories using your editor.
Will use git to action the rename and remove if run within a git repository.

positional arguments:
  args              file|dir, or "-" for stdin

optional arguments:
  -h, --help        show this help message and exit
  -a, --all         include all (including hidden) files
  -A, --no-all      negate the -a/--all/ option
  -r, --recurse     recursively remove any files and directories in removed
  -R, --no-recurse  negate the -r/--recurse/ option
  -q, --quiet       do not print rename/remove/copy actions
  -Q, --no-quiet    negate the -q/--quiet/ option
  -G, --no-git      do not use git if invoked within a git repository
  -g, --git         negate the --no-git option and DO use automatic git
  -d, --dirnames    edit given directory names directly, not their contents
  -t, --trash       use trash-put (from trash-cli) to do deletions
  -T, --no-trash    negate the -t/--trash/ option
  -F, --files       only show/edit files
  -D, --dirs        only show/edit directories
  -L, --nolinks     ignore all symlinks
  --suffix SUFFIX   specify suffix for editor file, default=".sh"

Note you can set default starting arguments in ~/.config/edir-flags.conf. The
negation options (i.e. the --no-* options and their shortforms) allow you to
temporarily override your defaults.

Embed in Ranger File Manager

In many ways edir (and vidir) is better than the ranger bulkrename command which does not handle name swaps and clashes etc. To add edir as a command within ranger, add or create the following in ~/.config/ranger/ Then run it from within ranger by typing :edir.

from ranger.api.commands import Command

class edir(Command):
    :edir [file|dir]

    Run edir on the selected file or dir.
    Default argument is current dir.
    def execute(self):'edir -q ' +
    def tab(self, tabnum):
        return self._tab_directory_content()


Copyright (C) 2019 Mark Blakeney. This program is distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License. This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or any later version. This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License at for more details.

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