Shell - Create a file of a specific size

April 2018

When writing a Java code to transfer files via SFTP and FTPS you may need to consider that you will be transferring files of small, medium and large sizes. The way to create files of a certain size in a Linux operating system is to use Shell and the dd command. You can use /dev/random or /dev/zero as a data source or null bytes. The terms used are block size, count - which is for number of blocks, input file and output file. The total size of the file created will be bs multiplied count bytes.

dd input file =/dev/misc output file=filename.dat block size=1024 count
The above command creates file of 1024kb, with random data allocation.

The dd command allows you to create an empty file of particular size. Creating these arbitrary heavy files, may be useful for testing purposes.
  • Use the command below:
    • dd if=/dev/zero of=file_to-create bs=1k count=1000
  • This command results in the creation of an empty 1Mb file
    • 1000 represents 1000 blocks of 1Kb

Published by netty5. Latest update on February 16, 2012 at 09:22 PM by Paul Berentzen.
This document, titled "Shell - Create a file of a specific size," is available under the Creative Commons license. Any copy, reuse, or modification of the content should be sufficiently credited to CCM (
Shell - Transfer files via SSH