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Failed to load latest commit information. Improve documentation Jan 4, 2017 span-files - utility to spread files on disks Feb 7, 2016 is a utility to spool a large data set onto smaller partitions. Originally used to spool a satellite data set of 35TB onto multiple 5TB HDs. will not split large files onto multiple target partitions.

Logic has 3 phases:

  • index
  • span
  • copy


Generate a listing of all files to be copied and their sizes, simply stored as:


You can also generate that yourself, in case you have that information in a database.

Index file should be stored in $tmp_dir/index.


Sums file sizes and outputs list.X files, each file listing will serve as a list of files to copy to a specific destination.


Factors rsync commands with --files-from=list.X for every participating destination device.

Simple Usage

Spool /data on /mnt/1, /mnt/2 and /mnt/3:

$ ./span-files -o all -t data -s /data -d /mnt/1 -d /mnt/2 -d /mnt/3

Available space on /mnt/1, /mnt/2 and /mnt/3 will be automatically probed before operation starts.

Step By Step

You can also run step by step:

$ ./span-files -o index -t data -s /data -d /mnt/1 -d /mnt/2 -d /mnt/3
$ ./span-files -o span -t data -s /data -d /mnt/1 -d /mnt/2 -d /mnt/3
$ ./span-files -o cp -t data -s /data -d /mnt/1 -d /mnt/2 -d /mnt/3 keeps state in a temporary directory, in this case - data. It is done like that because indexing of the files can take a very long while however you might find yourself needing to tune your strategy of spanning the files - so you can just run the spanning phase a few times until you get it right.

Caveats does not take into account block sizes. That is, if a file is 54 bytes for example but the filesystem block size is 4kb, this file will still occupy 4kb instead of 54 bytes. However if your destination device has a block size of 8kb, it will occupy 8kb on it. Ideally, you want the block size of your source device and destination device to be the same. If they are not the same and you are copying many small files, consider either tarring them together or account for it by not expecting to fill every destination path to a 100%. By default will leave 10% of free space on each device.