How to Monitor Progress of (Copy/Backup/Compress) Data using ‘pv’ Command

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Aaron Kili

Computer Science student at Makerere University. Am a Linux enthusiast and a big fan of FOSS. I have used Linux for one year and six months now. I love to share ideas and knowledge around me and in other places around the world.

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19 Responses

  1. gosho says:

    Formating hard disk with dd command using pv:

    # dd if=/dev/zero | pv -pbtr -s 120033041920 | dd of=/dev/sdX

    note: 120033041920 bytes is exact size of the disk, get your with fdisk -l
    sdX is the disk you want to dd, change X with your letter- a, b, c…

    • Ravi Saive says:


      Thanks for the useful tip about dd command with pv, sounds great, will create a short article on same. Else, you can also create a short 300 words article on same, if you want we will publish the article under you name in Tecmint..

  2. Yoander says:

    please could you tell us what is the meaning of: -t, -e, -r and -b options?

    • Ravi Saive says:


      To know about those options, I suggest you to ream man pages of pv command as shown:

      # man pv
  3. Alagirisamy says:

    I am getting the below error while copying 4 Gb files from workstation to pendrive

    [root@crack home]# ls
    Alagiri CentOS-7-x86_64-DVD-1602-01.iso Dvois lost+found
    [root@crack home]# pv CentOS-7-x86_64-DVD-1602-01.iso > /media/ammu/CentOS-7-x86_64-DVD-1602-01.iso
    pv: write failed: File too large=================================================================================> ] 97% ETA 0:00:26
    You have new mail in /var/spool/mail/root

  4. R says:

    New version of coreutils (8.24) adding a status progress to dd tool:

    Usage on Xubuntu 15.10:

    Open terminal shell and type these commands:

    tar -xf coreutils-8.24.tar.xz
    cd coreutils-8.24
    ./configure && make -j $(nproc)

    Run dd as root:

    sudo ./dd if=/dev/sdc of=/dev/sda conv=noerror status=progress

    You will see: Bytes, Seconds and Velocity (Bytes/seconds)

    To check versions of dd:


    dd –version

    New (cd coreutils-8.24/src):

    ./dd –version

  5. Tobi says:

    Check the network speed between two computers with ‘netcat’ and without utilizing a harddisk:
    At the first computer do a:
    netcat -l -p 1234 | pv > /dev/null
    Then go to the second computer and type:
    cat /dev/zero | pv | netcat ip_of_first_computer 1234
    Helped me to identify slow network switches.

  6. Emiliano says:

    Another GREAT use of “pv” is using it with “dd”.
    works great for me.

    dd if=/dev/sda1 | pv |dd of=/home/user/backup.iso

    Definitely it’s a “must” for “dd”. This process always take a long time to finish.

    Great article.

  7. Josmell Jimenez says:

    Excellent as always, great and easy explanation for every newbie and advanced linux user.

    Keep it up!

  8. Jon Loveless says:

    excellent tutorial on pv. I loved the video examples. It just doesn’t any more clear than that! thanks.

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