Command-line Based File Splitter & Joiner for Ubuntu Linux – LXSplit

I still remember the days where I had to compress and split a file (2-3MB) so it would fit inside a floppy disk drive. Nowadays Hard disk drives and USB devices come in large capacities and I rarely feel the need to split a file. However file splitting is still widely used while sending them to online file hosting servers for example.

Whatever your need is, as an Ubuntu user if you’re looking for a simple tool to get the job done then why not try ‘LXSplit’ ? It is a command-line based utility but it is so simple that it should be easily usable in the hands of a newbie :).

All you have to remember is two command-line parameters and even if you forget them you can read its help page and retrieve them later, and hit the Enter key, it is that simple.

And also because it has very few dependencies, there’s a good chance that it’s already included in the official repository of your GNU/Linux distribution.

Main features …

*. Supports file splitting and joining (merging).

*. Built in support for larger files (>4GB).

*. You can manually change the output file’s size.

*. Backward compatibility with the popular HjSplit tool (meaning that you can join files split by “Hj” and files that were split by LXSplit can be joined by “Hj” later etc).

*. It does not use any compression while splitting. This fastens the process plus will less likely to give file corruption issues which is a common problem with files that were slitted by file compression utilities such as WinRar for example.

Well that’s it!.

If interested you can install LXSplit in Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin, 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot, 11.04 Natty Narwhal, 10.10 and 10.04 by simply typing the below command in your Terminal window.

sudo apt-get install lxsplit

A simple example (just in case 😉 ) …

Let’s say that I want to split a Matroska multimedia file named “2.mkv” and is about 63MB roughly, stored in my “Home” folder in Ubuntu with LXSplit. And say that I also want to have 17MB per each (split) file.

For that I’d use something like the below command in my Terminal window (as shown in the first screenshot).

lxsplit -s 2.mkv 17M

That’s it!. Now I should have split files with each containing 17MB in size (and of course the last file with 9.7MB as you cannot divide 63MB into equal sizes of 17MBs :D).

The “-s” attribute is for “Splitting” and if I wanted to join the files later, then make sure the split files follow the name standard as filename.001, filename.002 etc and are in the same location/folder.

Then open your Terminal and enter the below command (if your file are in a different path, then make sure to add the correct path).

lxsplit -j 2.mkv.001

Yep that’s about it that too :).

For more information (such as entering file size in bytes rather than megabytes etc) plaease read its manual by using the below command.

man lxsplit

Yup, that’s it!.

3 thoughts on “Command-line Based File Splitter & Joiner for Ubuntu Linux – LXSplit”

  1. i needed to split a 4.4 gb video file down to 2.2 gb each in order to store it on a flash drive. i followed your instructions (lxsplit -s filename.mkv 2348M) and it created two files. However, the filename.mkv.001 was the entire file but now was half the original size. this file played fine and the time was in sync with the original meaning the same scene appeared in both files at the same time point = at the 7:00 minute mark, the scene was exactly the same. the picture quality was also the same. the filename.mkv.002 that was created was also 1/2 the size of the original but it could not be played as a video file. Its file type was listed as unknown whereas the filename.mkv.001 was listed appropriately. Could you explain what happen? Thanks.

    • Hi Edmond,

      After splitting, you must merge the files (also explained in the article), otherwise you’ll not be able to play or read them correctly. The first file was playable because it contained the ‘header’ information (a guess) of the original multimedia file.

      If you’re looking for a way to split multimedia files, with the ability to play them individually (without having to merge them later), then have a look at the ‘MkvToolNix‘. Good luck.

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