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Old 07-06-2017, 04:31 PM   #1
RandomTroll
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Using rename to replace a string that begins with a -


Sometimes I want to use rename on a group of files to replace a string that begins with a -. No kind of quoting keeps rename from treating the - as an option instead of an argument.
 
Old 07-06-2017, 04:42 PM   #2
rtmistler
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Are you using the rename(1) command?

First off, something like the DASH should be prefixed with a delimiter, such as backslash. The rename command always throws me for a loop and I usually have to web search for an example.
 
Old 07-06-2017, 04:47 PM   #3
wpeckham
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First, I never use rename. I always do name changes either on the command line or from a script, and only after testing and verifying against a worthless copy.

Second, have you tried escaping that character? ie
Code:
mv -- "-wobble.dat" "drabble.dat"
may work. The -- tells the program that nothing after that is a command line option.

CORRECTION: the "rename" on my systems do not use GNU standard. It is also not very intelligent in dealing with quotes and escapes. Try using GNU utilities and a script instead.

Last edited by wpeckham; 07-06-2017 at 04:51 PM.
 
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Old 07-06-2017, 05:36 PM   #4
AwesomeMachine
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There is a man page for rename. It's an interesting tool, but limited in some respects.
 
Old 07-06-2017, 07:07 PM   #5
thepatriot9_9
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@OP

You can use a for loop script to rename the files without the hyphen.

I created some files with a hyphen at the beginning and ran ls to verify.

Code:
touch -- -file{1..3}.dat
ls
-file1.dat  -file2.dat  -file3.dat
Then I ran this simple for loop and ls to verify
Code:
for i in -*; do mv -- "$i" ${i/-/ }; done
ls
file1.dat  file2.dat  file3.dat
As you can see, the hyphen is removed.

TIP: You can test the code on your files without it modifying the filename by adding echo Like so:

Code:
for i in -*; do echo mv -- "$i" ${i/-/ }; done
If the preview is what you want. Run the code again without the echo part.

Hope this helps.

Last edited by thepatriot9_9; 07-06-2017 at 07:15 PM.
 
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Old 07-06-2017, 07:49 PM   #6
BW-userx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thepatriot9_9 View Post
@OP

You can use a for loop script to rename the files without the hyphen.

I created some files with a hyphen at the beginning and ran ls to verify.

Code:
touch -- -file{1..3}.dat
ls
-file1.dat  -file2.dat  -file3.dat
Then I ran this simple for loop and ls to verify
Code:
for i in -*; do mv -- "$i" ${i/-/ }; done
ls
file1.dat  file2.dat  file3.dat
As you can see, the hyphen is removed.

TIP: You can test the code on your files without it modifying the filename by adding echo Like so:

Code:
for i in -*; do echo mv -- "$i" ${i/-/ }; done
If the preview is what you want. Run the code again without the echo part.

Hope this helps.
this one here
Code:
for i in -*; do mv -- "$i" ${i/-/ }; done
should be
Code:
for i in -*; do mv -- "$i" ${i/-/}; done
so no leading space is added to file name.
 
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Old 07-06-2017, 08:04 PM   #7
thepatriot9_9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BW-userx View Post
this one here
Code:
for i in -*; do mv -- "$i" ${i/-/ }; done
should be
Code:
for i in -*; do mv -- "$i" ${i/-/}; done
so no leading space is added to file name.
I stand corrected. Thanks
 
Old 07-06-2017, 08:31 PM   #8
BW-userx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thepatriot9_9 View Post
I stand corrected. Thanks
NP its just a learning process.
 
Old 07-06-2017, 11:25 PM   #9
RandomTroll
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Quoth Mr rtmistler: 'Are you using the rename(1) command?'
Yes.

Quoth Mr rtmistler: 'First off, something like the DASH should be
prefixed with a delimiter, such as backslash.'
I thought I communicated that I had tried that with my original message.

Quoth Mr wpeckham: 'I never use rename'
Congratulations.

Quoth Mr wpeckham: 'I always do name changes either on the command line or from a script'
When I can't get rename to work, that's what I do as well.

Quoth Mr wpeckham: 'have you tried escaping that character?'
Yes.

Quoth mr wpeckham: '-- tells the program that nothing after that is a command line option.'
I didn't know that, after all these years... That works. Thanks.
 
Old 07-07-2017, 06:13 AM   #10
rtmistler
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Very glad that you found a solution which you find suitable.

Please do not assume everyone on LQ is a male person.
 
Old 07-07-2017, 07:25 AM   #11
jpollard
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The simpler solution is "./-xxxx"
 
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Old 07-07-2017, 11:55 AM   #12
scasey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpollard View Post
The simpler solution is "./-xxxx"
I'm not sure I'd go with "simpler" - but it is also good to know. I'll never forget using '--' as a result of this discussion.
 
Old 07-07-2017, 01:16 PM   #13
suicidaleggroll
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BW-userx View Post
this one here
Code:
for i in -*; do mv -- "$i" ${i/-/ }; done
should be
Code:
for i in -*; do mv -- "$i" ${i/-/}; done
so no leading space is added to file name.
He didn't quote it, so it wouldn't make a difference. However, he should have quoted it, and if he had, it would have mattered, so it's a good suggestion.
 
Old 07-07-2017, 04:41 PM   #14
jpollard
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scasey View Post
I'm not sure I'd go with "simpler" - but it is also good to know. I'll never forget using '--' as a result of this discussion.
using -- doesn't always work, it depends on the utility. It will USUALLY work with the GNU tools, but there are exceptions.

It isn't available in the UNIX utilities; for example
https://docs.oracle.com/cd/E23823_01...5165/rm-1.html

doesn't show -- as valid. Compare to
http://man7.org/linux/man-pages/man1/rm.1.html
where it is.

Using ./ is the normal prefix to handle that.

-- is also not always available - for example see
https://linux.die.net/man/1/file

Last edited by jpollard; 07-07-2017 at 04:42 PM.
 
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Old 07-07-2017, 05:04 PM   #15
BW-userx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suicidaleggroll View Post
He didn't quote it, so it wouldn't make a difference. However, he should have quoted it, and if he had, it would have mattered, so it's a good suggestion.
better safe then sorry -- someone -- I think that guy over there says
 
  


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