Get Filename Without Extension

Filenames are rarely arbitrary. They’re usually descriptive and sometimes contain useful data. You can use some basic bash file manipulation utilities to parse filenames for analysis or store them as variables.

Take for example a file named in a directory called prince/:


If we wanted to get the filename(s) of anything in the prince/ folder we could list (ls) the contents of the directory:

ls prince/

But what if we wanted the name of the file without the extension?

One SO post offers the following solution:

echo ${f##*/}
echo ${}
echo ${f%.*}
## computer
## computer

The code above stores the filename and directory in a variable (f) and then uses subsequent string substitution expressions to pull out the file name without extension.

If you’re using bash (and not another shell) then you could also rely on the basename function to do something similar.

man basename describes the “suffix” argument:

BASENAME(1)               BSD General Commands Manual              BASENAME(1)

     basename, dirname -- return filename or directory portion of pathname

     basename string [suffix]
     basename [-a] [-s suffix] string [...]
     dirname string

     The basename utility deletes any prefix ending with the last slash `/'
     character present in string (after first stripping trailing slashes), and
     a suffix, if given.  The suffix is not stripped if it is identical to the
     remaining characters in string.  The resulting filename is written to the
     standard output.  A non-existent suffix is ignored.  If -a is specified,
     then every argument is treated as a string as if basename were invoked
     with just one argument.  If -s is specified, then the suffix is taken as
     its argument, and all other arguments are treated as a string.

So (given you’re on a system with the external basename function available) the following should work too:

basename -s .blue prince/
## computer