Advanced Copy Command – Shows Progress Bar While Copying Large Files/Folders in Linux

Advanced-Copy is a powerful command line program which is very much similar, but little modified version of original cp command. This modified version of cp command adds a progress bar along with total time taken to complete, while copying large files from one location to another. This additional feature is very useful especially while copying large files, and this gives an idea to user about the status of copy process and how long it takes to complete.

Download and Install Advanced-Copy

There are two methods to install Advanced-Copy utility in Linux systems, either you compile from sources or using pre-compiled binaries. Installing from pre-compiled binaries should always work correctly and requires lesser experience and very effective for Linux newbies.

But I suggest you to compile from sources, for this you required original version of GNU coreutils and latest patchfile of Advacned-Copy. The whole installation should go like this:

Compiling from Sources

First, download the latest version of GNU coreutils and patchfile using wget command and compile and patch it as shown below, you must be root user to perform all commands.

# wget
# tar xvJf coreutils-8.21.tar.xz
# cd coreutils-8.21/
# wget
# patch -p1 -i advcpmv-0.5-8.21.patch
# ./configure
# make

You might get the following error, while running “./configure” command.

checking whether mknod can create fifo without root privileges... configure: error: in `/home/tecmint/coreutils-8.21':
configure: error: you should not run configure as root (set FORCE_UNSAFE_CONFIGURE=1 in environment to bypass this check)
See `config.log' for more details

Run the following command on the terminal to fix that error and run the “./configure” command again.


Once, compilation completes, two new commands are created under src/cp and src/mv. You need to replace your original cp and mv commands with these two new commands to get the progress bar while copying files.

# cp src/cp /usr/local/bin/cp
# cp src/mv /usr/local/bin/mv

Note: If you don’t want to copy these commands under standard system paths, you can still run them from source directory like “./cp” and “./mv or create new commands as shown”.

# mv ./src/cp /usr/local/bin/cpg
# mv ./src/mv /usr/local/bin/mvg

Automatic progress bar

If you want the progress bar to be appear all the time while copying, you need to add the following lines to your ~/.bashrc file. Save and close the file

alias cp='cp -gR'
alias mv='mv -g'

You need to logout and login again to get this work correctly.

How to Use Advacned-Copy Command

The command is same, the only change is adding “-g” or “–progress-bar” option with cp command. The “-R” option is for copying directories recursively. Here is an example screen-shots of a copy process using advanced copy command.

# cp -gR / /data/


# cp -R --progress-bar / /data/

Advanced Copy Command

Advanced Copy Command

Here is the example of ‘mv‘ command with screen-shot.

# mv --progress-bar Songs/ /data/


# mv -g Songs/ /data/

Advanced Mv Command

Please remember, original commands are not overwritten, if you ever need to use them or you’re not happy with the new progress bar, and want to revert back to original cp and mv commands. You can call them via /usr/bin/cp or /usr/bin/mv.

I really much impressed with this new progress bar feature, at least I would know some information of copy operation time and exactly what’s going on.

Overall I can say, it is really good tool to have in your pocket, especially when you are spending lots of time in copying and moving files through command line.

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26 Responses

  1. Brandon says:

    Why not just use rsync with the –progress flag?

  2. feedblade says:

    when i download with wget . Following message appear . help me
    Resolving (…
    Connecting to (||:80… connected.
    HTTP request sent, awaiting response… 404 Not Found
    2015-05-23 06:58:47 ERROR 404: Not Found.

  3. DEEPAK says:

    [[email protected] coreutils-8.21]# cp src/cp /usr/bin/
    cp: overwrite ‘/usr/bin/cp’? y
    cp: cannot create regular file ‘/usr/bin/cp’: Text file busy

    • Ravi Saive says:

      I think something is preventing your from overwriting the file, so better use -f flag, it will force you to copy file. like

      cp -f src/cp /usr/bin/
      • forkicks says:

        Something -is- preventing the cp, the actual cp command itself :)

        Use an intermediate step and cp the new cp file as /usr/bin/cp1, then mv the old one out of the way and mv the new into place. It won’t be locked then. (I’m sure there’s some other smarter way of doing this, but this works).

        Also, the links to the patches are dead.

  4. DEEPAK says:

    Is there any malware patch in this ?

  5. giovane says:


  6. monsterz says:

    This thing always result in segmentation fault after 3~4 GB of data copied, using pre-compiled binaries, on Ubuntu 13.04.

  7. krisinho says:

    you could always create simple aliases for rsync:

    alias rcopy=”rsync –partial –progress –append –rsh=ssh -r -h”
    alias rmove=”rsync –partial –progress –append –rsh=ssh -r -h –remove-sent-files”

    works great:)

  8. AndrewM says:

    You could also just use scp with localhost.

  9. n2 says:

    I don’t log out every time i add a new alias, I just type:

    source ~/.bashrc

    and it’s ready for use :)

  10. Eddie says:

    I always use for this “rsync –progress” really simple

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