How do I rename all folders and files to lowercase on Linux?

I have to rename a complete folder tree recursively so that no uppercase letter appears anywhere (it's C++ source code, but that shouldn't matter).

Bonus points for ignoring CVS and Subversion version control files/folders. The preferred way would be a shell script, since a shell should be available on any Linux box.

There were some valid arguments about details of the file renaming.

  1. I think files with the same lowercase names should be overwritten; it's the user's problem. When checked out on a case-ignoring file system, it would overwrite the first one with the latter, too.

  2. I would consider A-Z characters and transform them to a-z, everything else is just calling for problems (at least with source code).

  3. The script would be needed to run a build on a Linux system, so I think changes to CVS or Subversion version control files should be omitted. After all, it's just a scratch checkout. Maybe an "export" is more appropriate.


  • A concise version using the "rename" command:

    find my_root_dir -depth -exec rename 's/(.*)\/([^\/]*)/$1\/\L$2/' {} \;

    This avoids problems with directories being renamed before files and trying to move files into non-existing directories (e.g. "A/A" into "a/a").

    Or, a more verbose version without using "rename".

    for SRC in `find my_root_dir -depth`
        DST=`dirname "${SRC}"`/`basename "${SRC}" | tr '[A-Z]' '[a-z]'`
        if [ "${SRC}" != "${DST}" ]
            [ ! -e "${DST}" ] && mv -T "${SRC}" "${DST}" || echo "${SRC} was not renamed"


    The latter allows more flexibility with the move command (for example, "svn mv").