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Utility to rename and remove files/dirs using your editor

Project description

EDIR - Rename and Delete Files and Directories Using Your Editor

edir is a command line utility to rename and remove 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, or edit lines to rename files/directories. You can also switch pairs of numbers to swap files or directories.

Comparison to Vidir

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. edir adds options to only show files (-f/--files), or to only show directories (-d/--dirs).

  9. edir adds an option to ignore symbolic links (-l/--nolinks).

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

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

  12. 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?).

  13. edir creates the temporary editing file with a .sh extension so your EDITOR may syntax highlight the entries.

  14. edir provides an environment value to add custom options to the invocation of your editor, and/or to set default edir command arguments. See below.

  15. 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.

  16. 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, that number must be in range, and that number must be unique,
    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.

  17. edir always removes and renames 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.

    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.


Arch users can install edir from the AUR.

Python 3.5 or later is required. Note edir is on PyPI so you can sudo pip3 install edir or:

$ git clone
$ sudo pip3 install ./edir

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.

Environment Variables


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

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


This allow you to set default starting arguments to edir. Type edir -h to see the arguments supported. E.g. export EDIR_DEFAULT_ARGS="-q" to make edir not print rename and remove actions.


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


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

Command Line Options

usage: edir [-h] [-a] [-r] [-q] [-f | -d] [-l] [args [args ...]]

Program to rename and remove files and directories using your editor.

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

optional arguments:
  -h, --help     show this help message and exit
  -a, --all      include/show all (including hidden) files
  -r, --recurse  recursively remove any files and directories in removed
                 directories that are non-empty
  -q, --quiet    do not print rename/remove actions
  -f, --files    only show files
  -d, --dirs     only show directories
  -l, --nolinks  ignore all symlinks

Embed in Ranger File Manager

In many ways edir (and vidir) are better than the ranger bulkrename command (which does not handle name clashes etc). To add edir as a command within ranger, add or create the following in ~/.config/ranger/

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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