Ubuntu – How to monitor the progress of dd


dd is a wonder. It lets you duplicate a hard drive to another, completely zero a hard drive, etc. But once you launch a dd command, there's nothing to tell you of its progress. It just sits there at the cursor until the command finally finishes. So how does one monitor dd's progress?

Best Answer

Update 2016: If you use GNU coreutils >= 8.24 (default in Ubuntu Xenial 16.04 upwards), see method 2 below for an alternate way to display the progress.

Method 1: By using pv

Install pv and put it between input / output only dd commands.

Note: you cannot use it when you already started dd.

From the package description:

pv - Pipe Viewer - is a terminal-based tool for monitoring the progress of data through a pipeline. It can be inserted into any normal pipeline between two processes to give a visual indication of how quickly data is passing through, how long it has taken, how near to completion it is, and an estimate of how long it will be until completion.


sudo apt-get install pv


dd if=/dev/urandom | pv | dd of=/dev/null


1,74MB 0:00:09 [ 198kB/s] [      <=>                               ]

You could specify the approximate size with the --size if you want a time estimation.

Example Assuming a 2GB disk being copied from /dev/sdb

Command without pv would be:

sudo dd if=/dev/sdb of=DriveCopy1.dd bs=4096

Command with pv:

sudo dd if=/dev/sdb | pv -s 2G | dd of=DriveCopy1.dd bs=4096


440MB 0:00:38 [11.6MB/s] [======>                             ] 21% ETA 0:02:19

Other uses

You can of course use pv directly to pipe the output to stdout:

pv /home/user/bigfile.iso | md5sum


50,2MB 0:00:06 [8,66MB/s] [=======>         ] 49% ETA 0:00:06

Note that in this case, pv recognizes the size automatically.

Method 2: New status option added to dd (GNU Coreutils 8.24+)

dd in GNU Coreutils 8.24+ (Ubuntu 16.04 and newer) got a new status option to display the progress:


dd if=/dev/urandom of=/dev/null status=progress


462858752 bytes (463 MB, 441 MiB) copied, 38 s, 12,2 MB/s
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