2023-06-27    Share on: Twitter | Facebook | HackerNews | Reddit

Bash - Rename Multiple Image Files to Match Pattern With Sequence Number

The use case for the provided script is to rename multiple image files in a directory while maintaining their original file extensions. This script can be handy in situations where you have a collection of image files with different formats or extensions, and you want to standardize their names for better organization or consistency.

By executing the script, all image files with extensions such as .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .gif, .tiff, .heic, and .heif in the current directory will be renamed. The new names will follow the pattern "img_xxx.ext", where "xxx" represents a sequence number starting from 000, and "ext" represents the original file extension.

For example, if you have the following image files in the directory:


Running the script will rename them as:


This allows for consistent naming and easier identification of the image files in the directory.

Here's the Bash script that supports multiple image formats and preserves the original file extension while renaming the files:



for file in *.{jpg,jpeg,png,gif,tiff,heic,heif}; do
    if -f "$file"; then
        newname=$(printf "img_%03d.%s" "$counter" "$extension")
        mv "$file" "$newname"

In this script:

  1. The for loop uses brace expansion {} to iterate over multiple file extensions: jpg, jpeg, png, gif, tiff, heic, and heif.
  2. Inside the loop, the script checks if the current file is a regular file using the -f test.
  3. If it's a regular file, it extracts the original file extension using the ${file##*.} syntax.
  4. The newname variable is generated using printf with the current value of the counter variable and the extracted extension.
  5. Finally, the file is renamed using the mv command, preserving the original extension.

To use this script, follow these steps:

  1. Open a text editor and paste the script into a new file.
  2. Save the file with a .sh extension, for example, rename_images.sh.
  3. Open a terminal and navigate to the directory where the image files are located.
  4. Make the script executable by running the following command: chmod +x rename_images.sh.
  5. Run the script using the command ./rename_images.sh.

After running the script, all the image files in the directory should be renamed according to the pattern you specified.


Here's a one-liner Bash command that renames all image files in the current directory to match the pattern "img_xxx.jpg" where "xxx" is a sequence number starting from 000:

counter=0; for file in *.jpg; do if -f "$file"; then newname=$(printf "img_%03d.jpg" "$counter"); mv "$file" "$newname"; ((counter++)); fi; done

This command combines the same logic as the previous script into a single line. The counter variable is set to 0, and then the for loop iterates over the .jpg files in the directory. The rest of the logic remains the same.

To use this one-liner, open a terminal, navigate to the directory containing the image files, and run the command. The image files will be renamed accordingly.

To create a Bash alias for the one-liner version of the last script, you can add the following line to your ~/.bashrc or ~/.bash_aliases (.zshrc or ~/.zsh_aliases if using zsh) file:

alias rename_images='counter=0; for file in *.{jpg,jpeg,png,gif,tiff,heic,heif}; do if -f "$file"; then extension="${file##*.}"; newname=$(printf "img_%03d.%s" "$counter" "$extension"); mv "$file" "$newname"; ((counter++)); fi; done'

Save the file and then run source ~/.bashrc or source ~/.bash_aliases to apply the changes.

Afterward, you can use the rename_images command in your terminal to execute the one-liner script and rename the image files in the current directory accordingly.

Python version

Here's a Python script that achieves the same functionality as the Bash script, renaming image files while preserving their original extensions:

import os

counter = 0
extensions = [".jpg", ".jpeg", ".png", ".gif", ".tiff", ".heic", ".heif"]

for filename in os.listdir("."):
    if filename.lower().endswith(tuple(extensions)) and os.path.isfile(filename):
        file_parts = os.path.splitext(filename)
        newname = f"img_{counter:03d}{file_parts[1]}"
        os.rename(filename, newname)
        counter += 1

In this Python script:

  1. The counter variable keeps track of the sequence number for renaming the files.
  2. The extensions list contains the supported image extensions.
  3. The script iterates over each file in the current directory using os.listdir(".").
  4. For each file, it checks if the filename has a matching extension and if it is a regular file.
  5. If both conditions are satisfied, it extracts the file's extension and uses os.rename() to perform the renaming operation.
  6. The new name is constructed using the desired pattern "img_xxx.ext", where "xxx" represents the sequence number and "ext" represents the original file extension.
  7. Finally, the counter is incremented for the next file.

You can save this Python script to a file with a .py extension, for example, rename_images.py, and then run it using a Python interpreter. The image files in the directory will be renamed accordingly, following the specified pattern while preserving their original extensions.