Lesser known Grunt.js features: Renaming of files

Stefan Baumgartner

Stefan on Mastodon

More on Tools, Grunt

Recently I had to deploy some static sites for some client, whose server didn’t allow to automatically redirect to index.html when accessing a directory. It had to be named index.php for whatever reason.

Having everything in one neat Grunt.js build chain I tried using a plugin for this very task. And I had the very problem as with almost every Grunt plugin out there: There were plenty, and none was in any way usable for my needs. grunt-rename is some sort of mv command (which is roughly the same, but just if you have the power of regexp), and grunt-contrib-rename is neither a contrib task nor does it rename files.

After some research and digging I actually found out that I didn’t have to look that far: I just can use grunt-contrib-copy!

You just need to attach one parameter to my configuration, which overrides the standard rename function of the Grunt file utilities.

copy: {
dist: {
files: [{
expand: true,
dot: true,
cwd: 'dist',
dest: 'dist/',
src: [
rename: function(dest, src) {
return dest + src.replace('.html','.php');

The function takes two parameters: dest and src, with dest being the destination directory. Be sure to attach a trailing slash at the end. src is the current file, so if your expression catches more than one file, you can access them one by one here.

I just copied the files from the same directory to the same directory. By having a different suffix all the files stay where the were. So afterwards, being already in the dist folder, delete all the ‘html’ files using grunt-contrib-clean.

Beware! #

Be aware that this very method is an internal utility for file operations in grunt and might not be there in the future. However, until we get something better, why not use what’s there!

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