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DETOX(1) General Commands Manual DETOX(1)


detoxclean up filenames


detox [-hnLrv] [-s sequence] [-f configfile] [--dry-run] [--special] file ...


The detox utility renames files to make them easier to work with. It removes spaces and other such annoyances. It'll also translate or cleanup Latin-1 (ISO 8859-1) characters encoded in 8-bit ASCII, Unicode characters encoded in UTF-8, and CGI escaped characters.


detox is driven by a configurable series of filters, called a sequence. Sequences are covered in more detail in detoxrc(5) and are discoverable with the -L option. Some examples of default sequences are iso8859_1 and utf_8.


The main options:

Use configfile instead of the default configuration files for loading translation sequences. No other config file will be parsed.
Display helpful information.
List the currently available sequences. When paired with -v this option shows what filters are used in each sequence and any properties applied to the filters.
Doesn't actually change anything. This implies the -v option.
Recurse into subdirectories.
Use sequence instead of default.
Works on special files (including links). Normally detox ignores these files.
Be verbose about which files are being renamed.
Show the current version of detox.

Deprecated Options

Deprecated Options are options that were available in earlier versions of detox but have lost their meaning and are being phased out.

Removes _ and - after .'s in filenames. This was first provided in the 0.9 series of detox. After the introduction of sequences, it lost its meaning, as you could now determine the properties of wipeup through a particular sequence's configuration. It presently forces all instances of the wipeup filter to use remove trailing, regardless of what's actually in the config files.


The system-wide detoxrc file.
A user's personal detoxrc. Normally it extends the system-wide detoxrc, unless -f has been specified, in which case, it is ignored.
The default ISO 8859-1 translation table.
The default Unicode (UTF-8) translation table.


detox -s iso8859_1 -r -v -n /tmp/new_files
Will run the sequence iso8859_1 recursively, listing any changes, without changing anything, on the files of /tmp/new_files.
detox -f my_detoxrc -L -v
Will list the sequences within my_detoxrc, showing their filters and options.


inline-detox(1), detoxrc(5), detox.tbl(5).


detox was originally designed to clean up files that I had received from friends which had been created using other operating systems. It's trivial to create a filename with spaces, parenthesis, brackets, and ampersands under some operating systems. These have special meaning within FreeBSD and Linux, and cause problems when you go to access them. I created detox to clean up these files.


detox was written by Doug Harple.


If, after the translation of a filename is finished, a file already exists with that same name, detox will not rename the file. This could cause a problem with the max_length filter, if it was imperative that the files be cut down to a certain length.

Long options don't work under Solaris or Darwin.

An error in the config file will cause a segfault as it's going to print the offending word within the config file.

February 11, 2021 Debian