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How best to remove certain characters from filenames and folders recursively

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# 1  
Old 05-14-2012
How best to remove certain characters from filenames and folders recursively


I'm trying to figure out which tool is best for recursively renaming and files or folders using the characters \/*?”<>| in their name. I've tried many examples that use Bash, Python and Perl, but I'm not much of a programmer I seem to have hit a roadblock.

Does anyone have any examples on how best to do this?

Thanks in advance!

# 2  
Old 05-16-2012
First, I'm pretty sure a / cannot be in a filename. Second, what would you replace the * and ? and " with?

I would approach that like this (GNU tools specific):
find /targetdir -type f -print0 | xargs -rl0 rename_bad_filename

where rename_bad_filename is a perl script that is executable and in your PATH...
$newf = $oldf=$ARGV[0];
# replace any non alpha-numeric characters, excluding / . and - with an underscore
$newf =~ s/[^a-zA-Z0-9.\/-]/_/g;
exit 0 if $newf eq $oldf;
print "Renaming \"$oldf\" to \"$newf\"...";
rename $oldf,$newf ;
print ($! ? "Error: $!\n" : "OK\n");

Note: no error checking; existing files are clobbered.

Example output:
$ rename_bad_filename  2l4kj2l^%.
Renaming "2l4kj2l^%." to "2l4kj2l__."...Error: No such file or directory
$ rename_bad_filename  2l4kj2l.
$ rename_bad_filename  2l4kj2l.\!
Renaming "2l4kj2l.!" to "2l4kj2l._"...Error: No such file or directory
$ rename_bad_filename  \[2-7\]-ldap-reordered
Renaming "[2-7]-ldap-reordered" to "_2-7_-ldap-reordered"...OK

# 3  
Old 05-16-2012
Hey Otheus,

Thanks for the response and the help. I'm able to get your script working for some reason. Don't I need to specifically specify perl in the command line? A script I found that seems to be kind of working. I'm just not sure how to define which variables to replace. The file types that Box doesn't support are \/*?”<>| Like you, I don't think I've ever see a forward slash in a file name, but Box said to make sure it's not there.


use strict;

sub processDir
    my $dir=shift;
    opendir(DIR, $dir);
    my @files=grep {! /^\.\.?$/} readdir(DIR);
    foreach my $file(@files)
        if(-d "$dir/$file") 
        my $newfile=$file;
        $newfile=~ s/[,& '\(\)]/_/g; #Search for ',','&','<','>','*','?','|','"',':', "'", '(', ')' in filenames and replace them with underscores.
        if( $newfile ne $file )
            print "Renaming \"$dir/$file\" to \"$dir/$newfile\"\n";
            rename "$dir/$file","$dir/$newfile" or warn("Problems renaming $dir/$file --> $dir/$newfile: $!\n"); 

my $dir=shift;

At the command prompt I entered perl Desktop/BoxMigraiton/FILESHARE
# 4  
Old 05-16-2012
Problem with renaming files and folders recursively is if you start renaming your folders, then the paths you're looking inside are changing on the go... So you need to process the insides first.


find . -depth -name "*[,&<>*?|\":'()]*" |     # Find all files or folders containing 'bad' characters.
while read FILEDIR                            # Read them line-by-line.
        DIR="${FILEDIR%/*}"                   # Get the folder its inside
        FILE="${FILEDIR/*\/}"                 # Get the plain name.
        NEWFILE="${FILE//[,&<>*?|\":\'()]/_}" # Substitute _ for bad things.
        echo mv "$DIR/$FILE" "$DIR/$NEWFILE"  # Rename it.

Remove the 'echo' once you're sure it does what you want.
This User Gave Thanks to Corona688 For This Post:
# 5  
Old 05-16-2012
This shell script looks awesome. Just what I was looking for. Thanks again.

So if I wanted to only replace these characters:

which line would I define that in?
# 6  
Old 05-16-2012
There's two expressions actually. Look for the comments with 'bad' in them.

The one in 'find' has * on the beginning and end because the expression has to match the entire file/dir name for find to print it... The bash expression on the other hand only matches the part you want to change.
# 7  
Old 05-16-2012
I think I understand. So both lines, should look like:
find . -depth -name "*\/*?”<>|*"


Did I get that right?

Then I should run

, correct?

Last edited by prometheon123; 05-16-2012 at 05:46 PM..

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