≡ Menu

Splits directory into multiple with equal size for ISO burning purpose

Sometime it is necessary to convert a directory with many multiple files (which are all smaller than a certain medium, eg. DVD) and “splits” it into “volumes,” looking for the optimal order to get the best space/medium-number efficiency.

For example, I have /data/network/mp3 directory size as follows:

$ du -ch

1.2 GB size

Now I would like to burn all these files on 700MB CD. Since size is 1.2 GB, I need to split it into two ISO files. Therefore, I need to take help of dirsplit command as follows.

1) Create list of files

$ cd /data/network/mp3
$ dirsplit -s 700M -e2 /data/network/mp3
$ ls vol*



Above dirsplit command created two mkisofs catalogs to burn all music (mp3) to 700M CDRs, keep single files in each dir together.


  • -s 700M : 700M CDR size
  • -e N : Special exploration modes, used with directory argument

As you see, it created two files vol_1.list vol_2.list. Now use these files to create two ISO images that can opened on both windows and Linux computer:

$ mkisofs -o vol1.iso -D -r –joliet-long -graft-points -path-list vol_1.list
$ mkisofs -o vol2.iso -D -r –joliet-long -graft-points -path-list vol_2.list
$ ls -l *.iso


-rw-r--r-- 1 vivek vivek 663M 2006-03-05 05:18 vol1.iso
-rw-r--r-- 1 vivek vivek 510M 2006-03-05 05:19 vol2.iso

Now ISO images are ready and you can burn them using cdrecord or other GUI tools.
Write an ISO (happ.iso) to CD i.e. burn an image:

$ cdrecord -v -dev=ATA:1,0,0 speed=8 vo1.iso
$ cdrecord -v -dev=ATA:1,0,0 speed=8 vo2.iso

dirsplit can ignore some junk files i.e. it can filter file list. For example, don’t include other directory while creating split:

$ dirsplit -s 700M -e2 -f ‘!other’ -e2 /data/network/mp3

(Check out all of our posts on Linux)

Share this on:

Your support makes a big difference:
I have a small favor to ask. More people are reading the nixCraft. Many of you block advertising which is your right, and advertising revenues are not sufficient to cover my operating costs. So you can see why I need to ask for your help. The nixCraft, takes a lot of my time and hard work to produce. If you use nixCraft, who likes it, helps me with donations:
Become a Supporter →    Make a contribution via Paypal/Bitcoin →   

Don't Miss Any Linux and Unix Tips

Get nixCraft in your inbox. It's free:

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • smoke April 12, 2007, 8:44 pm

    is there such tool for win32? (must be cli driven)

  • freeloadr February 11, 2010, 4:40 pm

    This is part of the genisoimage package on Ubuntu.

  • Joaquin April 19, 2012, 7:34 pm

    Great! Thanks was very usefull.

  • Ben October 29, 2015, 2:51 pm

    Even now this is really handy. I just had to return 30GB of data to someone over a bunch of DVDs.

    One thing I will say, you need to drop the ‘e2’ if one directory exceeds the max size limit you set.

Security: Are you a robot or human?

Leave a Comment