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FN—File Names

What is it?

This is a tiny library to generate file names.

It will give you unique file names based on current git commit, as well as the time and date.

When fn is called from the terminal, the file names look like this:


Which currently follows this format:


Where gitsha is the prefix of the git commit sha. And prochash is a hash of the time when Fn() is called and the corresponding process id.

If you are not in a git repo, it looks like this:


You can use fn -r [dir] to list all files with the most recent procsha.

Similarly you can list all files with the most recent gitsha with fn -l [dir].

Use fn -h in the terminal to see other options.


I have a lot of projects where I make large amounts of files (images, 3D models, 2D vector files), and I've always wanted a more efficient way of maintaining unique file names.

I got the idea for this when I saw how Vera Molar names her works in this Periscope video


The code runs on Linux (only, probably) and requires git to be installed. It also uses docopt, installed via


The easiest is to install with:

./ [install | develop] [--user]

Unfortunately the command line support relies on entry_points, which is rather slow. To make it run faster you can (for instance) add a symlink in your local bin folder to ./ in this repo.

Does it guarantee unique file names in any way?

No. It only uses the current time to make a relatively distinct string—don't use this for anything remotely important.

On Use and Contributions

This code is a tool that I have written for my own use. I release it publicly in case people find it useful. It is not however intended as a collaboration/Open Source project. As such I am unlikely to accept PRs, reply to issues, or take requests.