If you are using Gnome as your graphical interface then you can quickly and easily rename files without the need to open a command shell.
There are two ways of renaming a file directly from within Gnome. The most obvious way is to display the directory containing the file and right click on the file that you want to rename. You then select Properties and open the Statistics page. Here you will find a field called File Name that you can update to contain the new name that you want the file to have.
The second way is not so obvious but is even quicker. What you need to do is to click the file twice with the left mouse button. You don't want a double click because that will open the file, instead leave a pause between the two clicks so that the first will select the file. Because the file is already selected the second time you click the file name field displayed will now become editable and you can key in your new filename over the existing one.
This article written by Stephen Chapman, Felgall Pty Ltd.