Sneaker-netting Huge Files with split and cat

February 27, 2012

Big files happen, and sometimes they need to be moved.

I’ve found that moving big files between local computers is often fastest with a USB drive and my shoes, especially since I don’t really have access to a wired network usually.

But sometimes, files are just too big for your thumb drive. Some of us don’t carry huge drives around, I usually only have a spare 2GB on me.

Suppose you have a 4.4GB ZIP file (don’t ask, just suppose). I’ve only got a 2GB (1.9GB usable) thumb drive on me, but I need to move it over to another machine and I don’t have all day.

In the past I’ve use dd tricks, but I knew there had to be a better way.

Enter split and cat. cat concatenates files, and it’s cousin split, well, splits them.

Perfect! Just what I needed! I’ll split my file into chunks with split, sneaker it over the other machine and cat it all back together.


computer-one $ split -b 1500M
computer-one $ ls -l
-rw-rw-r--  1 jmhobbs jmhobbs 1572864000 2012-02-27 14:44 xaa
-rw-rw-r--  1 jmhobbs jmhobbs 1572864000 2012-02-27 14:45 xab
-rw-rw-r--  1 jmhobbs jmhobbs 1572864000 2012-02-27 14:46 xac
-rw-rw-r--  1 jmhobbs jmhobbs    7637844 2012-02-27 14:46 xad
computer-one $




computer-two $ cat xaa xab xac xad >
computer-two $


computer-two $ ls -l
-rw-rw-r--  1 jmhobbs jmhobbs 4726229844 2012-02-27 15:02

Categories: Geek
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  1. Jerod Santo says:

    Nice kicks. I’d suggest you sneaker over to Amazon and pick up a modern flash drive. You can get 32GB for less than $30 these days.

    Handy tool anyhow.

  2. John Hobbs says:

    Yeah… but then I’d have to spend $30 – and I loose those things pretty easy. :-)

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