Splitting Files to Circumvent Size Limits

Brandon Rozek

September 7, 2020

Let’s say you want to transfer file(s) over to someone and there is a limit the size you can transfer over. Maybe because of the physical medium or the online service you’re using. You can make use of the terminal tool split in order to get the chunks over there and then use cat to combine it back to one file.

Create a Single File

Skip to the next section if you only want to transfer a single file.

Otherwise, let’s say you have a folder of files named Documents. First, let’s create a gzipped compressed archive that contains everything.

tar -czf documents.tar.gz Documents

Splitting the File

Next let’s split the file into 1 GB parts.

split -b 1GB -d documents.tar.gz PART

Then transfer the files labeled PARTX where X is the part number over….


Once the files are transfered, we use cat to bring the files back together.

cat PART* > documents.tar.gz