# Linux: How to break a large file into smaller files?

I have a giant file (>20 gigs) sitting on my source machine and I need to transfer it to my target machine. For the purposes of this question, let's assume that I do not have network connectivity between the two machines.

I need to break this file into a series of smaller files, write the smaller files to DVD(s), then re-assemble everything on the target machine.

Both source and destination machines are Linux boxes. Is there a way to accomplish this using tar? I have a feeling that I need to use the --multi-volume parameter. What are my options?

I need to be able to specify the size of the volume files, in order to make sure that each one will fit onto a single DVD.

Thanks!

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## 4 Answers

Use the split command.

split -b 22 m newfile.txt new would split the file "newfile.txt" into three separate files called newaa, newab and newac each file the size of 22 MB.

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Be careful of creating the prefix "new" that you share with the original file "newfile.txt". Now when you try to do cat new* > newfile.txt it will blow up! –  Robert Martin Oct 17 '11 at 23:54
@RobertMartin Good catch! –  duffbeer703 Oct 25 '11 at 0:30

Other answers have covered split to combine them to one master file you just use cat.

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This can be done easily using split, which should be already available in the base of your distribution since it is part of gnu coreutils.

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split -b 4000000000 file_name

It will create each file of 4 GB

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