Command line progress bar - a progress bar for dd

If you're using dd for making backups or shifting around data of an considerable size, a lack of progress bar can be annoying and leave you having to employ annoying hacks to try and get status on your data transfer.

The good news is that there is an open source command line progress bar called, aptly enough, bar, that can be used to give you a nice wget-esque progress bar as the data shifts over. Unfortunately, there seems to be a limitation in its utility in that you have to specify the size of the data for the progress bar to be accurate, but then this isn't awfully hard to do.

If you head on over to the Command Line Progress Bar page you can see examples of how it's used. Basically put, you need to pipe dd through the program like so:

$ dd if=input | bar -s sizeinbytes > destination

Admittedly, it isn't at all that elegant a solution and there is probably a much better one somewhere, but still, it is much better than being left in the dark as to how a transfer of tens of gigabytes is going.

The bar tool can be installed from source (it's a pretty easy case of extracting, doing ./configure, make then make install as root), or by RPM or Debian package, for which the downloads are here. As always, check your package manager first and install it from there if at all possible.

It's not perfect, but it's better than nothing so I thought I would share that with our readers.

Avatar for peter Peter Upfold -

Peter Upfold is a technology enthusiast from the UK. Peter’s interest in Linux stems back to 2003, when curiosity got the better of him and he began using SUSE 9.0. Now he runs Linux Mint 9 on the desktop, runs a CentOS-based web server from home for his personal website and dabbles in all sorts of technology things across the Windows, Mac and open source worlds.

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Discussion: Command line progress bar - a progress bar for dd

  1. # Posted on 13 August 2007 at 03:04 AM

    [...] Vía: FOSSwire [...]

  2. # Posted on 19 August 2007 at 12:42 PM

    [...] usas el comando dd para mover datos en Linux, la falta de información sobre el progreso puede causar nervios. Ahora hay una [...]

  3. # Posted on 17 October 2008 at 05:17 PM

    <strong>dd mit Durchsatzanzeige...</strong>

    Ich bin gerade dabei von zu klein gewordenen Festplatten auf groessere Platten zu migrieren. Hierbei arbeite ich unter anderem mit dd. Leider ist dd von Haus aus nicht sehr mitteilungsbeduerftig. Aber ich habe hier schnell Abhilfe gefunden:

    dd if=in...

  4. ChrisAM (guest)

    # Posted on 22 December 2008 at 11:11 PM

    There are several forks of dd which show the progress.

    DCFLDD - DC3DD - ManTech DD -


  5. # Posted on 10 May 2010 at 01:04 PM

    I was hoping that I could do a gui progress bar with "foremost"

    If anyone has any ideas, I'd love to hear them.

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