Rename All Files and Directory Names to Lowercase in Linux

In our previous article, we have described how to count the number of files and subdirectories inside a given directory. This guide will show you how to rename all files and directories names to lowercase in Linux.

Read Also: How to Find Out Top Directories and Files (Disk Space) in Linux

There are several ways to achieve this, but we’ll explain two of the most efficient and reliable methods. For the purpose of this guide, we have used a directory named Files which has the following structure:

# find Files -depth
List Directory Structure
List Directory Structure

1. Using find, xargs and rename Commands Together

rename is a simple command line utility for renaming several files at once in Linux. You can use it together with find utility to rename all files or subdirectories in a particular directory to lowercase as follows:

$ find Files -depth | xargs -n 1 rename -v 's/(.*)\/([^\/]*)/\\/\L$2/' {} \;

Explanation of options used in the above command.

  • -depth – lists each directory’s contents before the directory itself.
  • -n 1 – instructs xargs to use at most one argument per command line from find output.

Sample output after renaming files and subdirectories to lowercase in Files directory.

Rename Files and Directory Names to Lowercase
Rename Files and Directory Names to Lowercase

Another alternative way using the find and mv commands in a script as explained below.

2. Using find and mv Commands in Shell Script

First create your script (you can name it anything you prefer):

$ cd ~/bin
$ vi

Then add the code below in it.

#print usage 
if [ -z $1 ];then
        echo "Usage :$(basename $0) parent-directory"
        exit 1

#process all subdirectories and files in parent directory
all="$(find $1 -depth)"

for name in ${all}; do
        #set new name in lower case for files and directories
        new_name="$(dirname "${name}")/$(basename "${name}" | tr '[A-Z]' '[a-z]')"

        #check if new name already exists
        if [ "${name}" != "${new_name}" ]; then
                [ ! -e "${new_name}" ] && mv -T "${name}" "${new_name}"; echo "${name} was renamed to ${new_name}" || echo "${name} wasn't renamed!"

#list directories and file new names in lowercase
echo "Directories and files with new names in lowercase letters"
find $(echo $1 | tr 'A-Z' 'a-z') -depth

exit 0

Save and close the file, then make the script executable and run it:

$ chmod +x
$ Files     #Specify Directory Name
Lowercase File Names Using Script
Lowercase File Names Using Script

You may also like to read these following related articles.

  1. Explanation of “Everything is a File” and Types of Files in Linux
  2. fswatch – Monitors Files and Directory Changes or Modifications in Linux
  3. Fasd – A Commandline Tool That Offers Quick Access to Files and Directories
  4. FSlint – How to Find and Remove Duplicate Files in Linux

In this guide, we expalined you how to rename all files and directories to lowercase in Linux. If get any errors, please hit us up via the feedback form below. You can as well offer us any other methods of doing the same.

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Aaron Kili
Aaron Kili is a Linux and F.O.S.S enthusiast, an upcoming Linux SysAdmin, web developer, and currently a content creator for TecMint who loves working with computers and strongly believes in sharing knowledge.

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Leave a Reply
  1. Hi, you can execute your first option with a single command:

    find Files -depth -exec rename -v -f 's/(.*)\/([^\/]*)/$1\/\L$2/' {} \+

  2. Might be easier in a for loop using var substitution.

    $ for i in ./*; do echo $i ${i,,}; done

    Replace “echo” with “mv”.

  3. Does this command also work in CentOS 7?

    # find Files -depth | xargs -n 1 rename -v 's/(.*)\/([^\/]*)/\\/\L$2/' {} \;

    I don’t get an error but it doesn’t seem to work.

    Is it also possible to prepare this command so that spaces are replaced by a _ or –


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