I want to test an upload of files of content type application/x-gzip of various sizes ranging from 100 MB to 999 MB.

How can go I about creating .gz files of these predetermined sizes? If I do dd if=/dev/zero of=somefile bs=1 seek=100, the resultant file after zipping is usually very small.

  • You can create a 10MB gzip file like this:

    head -c 10M /dev/urandom | gzip -1 >10m.gz

    This uses urandom to get a high-entropy stream of bytes: since this is incompressible, the gzipped version will be about the same size as the input.

  • You can then catenate copies of your gzip file together:

    cat $(perl -e "print '10m.gz ' x 30") >300m.gz

    Thirty copies of the source file will be about 300MB, and 100 copies will be about a gigabyte.


Here is another method. You can create files by controlling the loop variable filecount. This creates random files of size between 100MB to 900 MB and gzips them.

while [ $filecount -lt 10 ]
</dev/urandom head -c "$filesize" | gzip > /tmp/file${filecount}.$RANDOM.gz
  • 3
    The output from base64 is compressible by about 25%; I would recommend skipping the base64 bit and calling head directly on /dev/urandom.
    – dhag
    May 7 '15 at 19:25
  • 1
    @dhag thanks. I edited the answer to reflect that.
    – rahul
    May 7 '15 at 19:31

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