This is something I didn't know existed until I tried doing it manually. Basically, say you have 5000 photos to back up.

Say you want to send them to older family members with DVDs (yes, I know, optical media in 2021, give me a break).

DVDs can fit 4.4 GiB each, so you want to take advantage of that and split the files evenly. Doing it by hand sucks.

fpart can take the folders and make file lists for several partitions, either by target number of partitions, OR, by space.

eg: to split into 5 partitions with the file lists named list.0, so on

fpart -n 5 -o list -v .

Problem is, it doesn't really move the files. If you don't care about folder structure (ie: intended as slideshow or something)

sed 's/^ *//' < list.0 | xargs -d '\n' mv --backup=t -v -t folder0

Where list.0 is the text list, and folder0 is the target.

The –backup=t makes sure that if there are duplicate file names, it will rename one automatically and not overwrite.


This is easy enough to then burn onto a CD/DVD with K3B. While you're at it, do yourself a favor and use PAR2 to add parity.

DVDs will get scratched and I currently leave ~5% parity to recover files.

Maintain directory structure

Instead of using the xargs version, you can also use Rsync. This will maintain directory structure.

 rsync -avP . --files-from=list.0 sorted/

This will take files from '.' or a directory of your choice, and copy files listed in list.0 into the sorted/ directory.
Note that the output directory must exist beforehand.

  • scripts/files/evenly_split_directories_into_chunks.txt
  • Last modified: 2023-03-27 02:34
  • by Tony