Learn how to split big files in several parts.

Table of Contents


split [<options>] <file> [<prefix>]
  • <prefix>: name prefix of the parts. split will add a couple of letters after this prefix. By default, prefix will be “x”.
$ split -n 3 bigfile bigfile.part
$ ls
bigfile bigfile.partaa bigfile.partab bigfile.partac

Some of the available options are:

  • -n <parts>: specify in how many parts you want to split the file.
  • -l <lines>: number of lines per each output file.
  • -b <size>: put <size> bytes per output file. You can use suffixes like K, M or G.
  • -d: use numeric suffixes instead of alphabetic (e.g.: bigfile.part01, bigfile.part02, etc.)


You can use cat to reattach the files.

cat bigfile.part?? > bigfile
  • ? is a RegExp parameter that means “one character”, so bigfile.part?? expands to all files that start with bigfile.part and have exactly two characters more.
  • You don’t need to use RegExp:
    cat bigfile.part01 bigfile.part02 > bigfile


Check Backup methods (III): dd / tar.

Test with this online terminal:

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