split Man page

SPLIT(1) User Commands SPLIT(1)


split – split a file into pieces




Output pieces of FILE to PREFIXaa, PREFIXab, …; default size is 1000
lines, and default PREFIX is ‘x’.

With no FILE, or when FILE is -, read standard input.

Mandatory arguments to long options are mandatory for short options

-a, –suffix-length=N
generate suffixes of length N (default 2)

append an additional SUFFIX to file names

-b, –bytes=SIZE
put SIZE bytes per output file

-C, –line-bytes=SIZE
put at most SIZE bytes of records per output file

-d use numeric suffixes starting at 0, not alphabetic

–numeric-suffixes[=FROM] same as -d, but allow setting the start value

-e, –elide-empty-files
do not generate empty output files with ‘-n’

write to shell COMMAND; file name is $FILE

-l, –lines=NUMBER
put NUMBER lines/records per output file

-n, –number=CHUNKS
generate CHUNKS output files; see explanation below

-t, –separator=SEP
use SEP instead of newline as the record separator; ‘\0’ (zero)
specifies the NUL character

-u, –unbuffered
immediately copy input to output with ‘-n r/…’

print a diagnostic just before each output file is opened

–help display this help and exit

output version information and exit

The SIZE argument is an integer and optional unit (example: 10K is
10*1024). Units are K,M,G,T,P,E,Z,Y (powers of 1024) or KB,MB,…
(powers of 1000).

CHUNKS may be:
N split into N files based on size of input

K/N output Kth of N to stdout

l/N split into N files without splitting lines/records

l/K/N output Kth of N to stdout without splitting lines/records

r/N like ‘l’ but use round robin distribution

r/K/N likewise but only output Kth of N to stdout


Written by Torbjorn Granlund and Richard M. Stallman.


GNU coreutils online help:
Report split translation bugs to


Copyright © 2016 Free Software Foundation, Inc. License GPLv3+: GNU
GPL version 3 or later .
This is free software: you are free to change and redistribute it.
There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.


Full documentation at:
or available locally via: info ‘(coreutils) split invocation’

GNU coreutils 8.25 February 2016 SPLIT(1)

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