My desired result is change a file to root / from a N number of paths.

For example: www.host.com/a/b/c/e/f/g/images/1.jpg, where A~G is not always given. Result: www.host.com/images/1.jpg.

This is what I have so far: www.host.com/a/images --> www.host.com/images using: RewriteRule ^a\/images/$ images/$1 [L].

What I need is a wildcard in front of /images/ like this: RewriteRule ^*\/images/$ images/$1 [L].

How can I do this correctly in .htaccess?

2 Answers 2

RewriteRule ^a\/images/$ images/$1 [L]

There is no capturing group in the RewriteRule pattern, so the $1 backreference is always empty and will only rewrite the request from /a/images/ to /images/ (note the trailing slash).

To rewrite a request to any path depth then you simply need to establish that there is something (even just 1 character) in the URL-path before /images/ in the requested URL.

Taking the above points into consideration you could do something like the following:

RewriteRule ./(images/.*) $1 [L]

The $1 backreference contains everything that we want to rewrite the request to. ie. images/<anything>.

The above would internally rewrite a request for /a/b/c/e/f/g/images/<anything> to /images/<anything>.


This should do the trick: RewriteRule ^.+\/images/$ images/$1 [L]

In regex, the .+ is a wildcard matching at least one character, so it will match

www.host.com/**a**/images and www.host.com/**a/b**/images but not www.host.com/images.

When working with regular expressions for pattern matching, I have always found this page helpful: http://regular-expressions.info/.

  • This only matches .../images/ - it does not match the filename. And since there is no capturing group in the RewriteRule pattern, the $1 backreference in the substitution string is always empty.
    – MrWhite
    Oct 20, 2021 at 14:08

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