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How to use the csplit command: 2-Minute Linux Tips

Network World | Jan 6, 2022

In this Linux tip, learn how to use the csplit command. It's a command that lets you split a file into pieces based on its content. For example, you might separate a file based on chapter headings, dates or content separators of some kind. Think of "csplit" as meaning "context split."

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Hi, this is Sandra Henry-Stocker, author of the “Unix as a Second Language” blog on NetworkWorld.
In this Linux tip, we’re going to look at the csplit command. It's a command that lets you split a file into pieces based on its content. For example, you might separate a file based on chapter headings, dates or content separators of some kind. Think of "csplit" as meaning "context split".
If you have a text file separated by lines like "Part 1" and "Part 2", you could split it into a series of files (each containing a single Part) with a command like this:
This will split the file specified (myreport) on lines that begin with the word "Part" and name them Part-00, Part-01 and so on. We see the size of each file as the command creates them.
The -b option
Let's look at the resulting files:
In this case, the first file is empty, but each of the others contains the contents of one of the 5 parts and is named to reflect what it contains. There are many ways to use the csplit command to break files into meaningful pieces. I hope this example gives you an idea how it works.
That’s your Linux tip for the csplit command.
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