Sneaker-netting Huge Files with split and cat
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 big.zip (...wait...) 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 > big.zip (...wait...) computer-two $
computer-two $ ls -l -rw-rw-r-- 1 jmhobbs jmhobbs 4726229844 2012-02-27 15:02 big.zip