Refactoring code with the command line (files, folders and possibly variables)

These are a few commands I use in situation where I can’t use Eclipse for refactoring my code, you can use them by replacing from and to with the names you want.

No need to remind you to take backups to prevent irreversible loss of data.

Rename files and folders

me@linux:~/$ find . ! -path . -name '*' -exec bash -c 'echo $0 ${0/from/to}' {} \;

Rename variables

me@linux:~/$ find . -type f -print | xargs sed -i 's/from/to/g'

Rename variables in bulk

me@linux:~/$ find . -type f -print | xargs sed -i 's/from/to/g;s/foo/bar/g;s/FOO/BAR/g'


    1. Yes, you can get away with your IDE search/replace, PHPStorm/Rubymine/Webstorm and like have a great refactoring tool… Yet, nothing beats the speed and dangerousness of the command line.

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