Java – Create file with given size in Java


Is there an efficient way to create a file with a given size in Java?

In C it can be done with ftruncate (see that answer).

Most people would just write n dummy bytes into the file, but there must be a faster way. I'm thinking of ftruncate and also of Sparse files

Best Solution

Create a new RandomAccessFile and call the setLength method, specifying the desired file length. The underlying JRE implementation should use the most efficient method available in your environment.

The following program


class Test {
     public static void main(String args[]) throws Exception {
           RandomAccessFile f = new RandomAccessFile("t", "rw");
           f.setLength(1024 * 1024 * 1024);

on a Linux machine will allocate the space using the ftruncate(2)

6070  open("t", O_RDWR|O_CREAT, 0666)   = 4
6070  fstat(4, {st_mode=S_IFREG|0644, st_size=0, ...}) = 0
6070  lseek(4, 0, SEEK_CUR)             = 0
6070  ftruncate(4, 1073741824)          = 0

while on a Solaris machine it will use the the F_FREESP64 function of the fcntl(2) system call.

/2:     open64("t", O_RDWR|O_CREAT, 0666)               = 14
/2:     fstat64(14, 0xFE4FF810)                         = 0
/2:     llseek(14, 0, SEEK_CUR)                         = 0
/2:     fcntl(14, F_FREESP64, 0xFE4FF998)               = 0

In both cases this will result in the creation of a sparse file.