Progress – Show Percentage of Copied Data for (cp, mv, dd, tar) Commands

Progress, formerly known as Coreutils Viewer, is a light C command that searches for coreutils basic commands such as cp, mv, tar, dd, gzip/gunzip, cat, grep, etc currently being executed on the system and shows the percentage of data copied, it only runs on Linux and Mac OS X operating systems.

Additionally, it also displays important aspects such as estimated time and throughput and offers users a “top-like” mode.

It utterly scans the /proc filesystem for fascinating commands and then searches the fd and fdinfo directories to find opened files seek positions, and reports status for the extensive files. Importantly, it is a very light tool, and compatible with practically any command.

How to Install Progress Viewer on Linux

Progress requires the ncurses library in order to work, therefore install libncurses before proceeding to install it, by running the appropriate command below:

$ sudo apt install libncurses5-dev   [On Debian, Ubuntu and Mint]
$ sudo yum install ncurses-devel     [On RHEL/CentOS/Fedora and Rocky Linux/AlmaLinux]
$ sudo emerge -a ncurses-devel       [On Gentoo Linux]
$ sudo apk add ncurses-dev           [On Alpine Linux]
$ sudo pacman -S ncurses-devel       [On Arch Linux]
$ sudo zypper install ncurses-devel  [On OpenSUSE]    

On rpm-based distributions such as (Red Hat, CentOS, Fedora, SUSE, Rocky, AlmaLinux, etc.), run one of these:

$ sudo dnf install progress
$ sudo yum install progress

On deb-based systems (Debian, Ubuntu, Mint, etc.) run:

$ sudo apt install progress

On Arch Linux, run:

$ sudo pacman -S progress

On other Linux distributions, you can start by cloning or downloading the package files from its Github repo as follows:

# git clone

Next, move into the progress directory and build it as shown:

$ cd progress
$ make 
$ sudo make install

After successfully installing it, simply run this tool from your terminal, below we shall walk through a few examples of using Progress on a Linux system.

Monitor the Progress of Commands in Linux

You can view all the coreutils commands that Progress works with by running it without any options, provided non of the coreutils commands is being executed on the system:

$ progress 
Progress Viewer Commands
Progress Viewer Commands

To display estimated I/O throughput and the estimated remaining time for ongoing coreutils commands, enable the -w option:

$ progress -w
Monitor Progress of Running Commands
Monitor the Progress of Running Commands

Show Progress in Copying Files

To view the progress of the cp command, while copying large files, run:

$ cp GhostBSD.vdi /home/tecmint/Downloads/ & progress -mp $!
Monitor cp Command Progress
Monitor cp Command Progress

Show Progress of Moving Files

To view the progress of the mv command, while moving large files, run:

$ mv GhostBSD.vdi /media/tecmint/Personal_Data/ & progress -mp $!
mv - Show Progess While Moving Files
mv – Show Progress While Moving Files

Show Progress of Tar Files

To view the progress of the tar command, while creating the tar archive, run:

$ tar czf images.tar.gz linuxmint-18-cinnamon-64bit.iso CentOS-7.0-1406-x86_64-DVD.iso CubLinux-1.0RC-amd64.iso | progress  -m  $!
Monitor Progress of Linux Commands
Monitor the Progress of Linux Commands

Show Progress of Multiple Commands

In the next example, you can open two or more terminal windows, then run the coreutils commands in one each, and watch their progress using the other terminal window as shown in the image below.

The command below will enable you to monitor all the current and imminent instances of coreutils commands:

$ watch progress -q

For more interesting options, look through the progress man pages or visit :

$ man progress

As a concluding remark, this is a very useful tool for monitoring the progress of coreutils commands, especially when copying or archiving and compressing heavy files, plus so much more.

If you have installed it successfully, use it and share your experience with us via the comment section below. You can as well provide us some great usage examples where you find it helpful for important everyday system administration tasks and more.

Aaron Kili
Aaron Kili is a Linux and F.O.S.S enthusiast, an upcoming Linux SysAdmin, web developer, and currently a content creator for TecMint who loves working with computers and strongly believes in sharing knowledge.

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Leave a Reply
  1. Hi All, I need to activate my progress (OpenEdge Release 12.2.5) which is installed on CentOS 7, so can someone help me out on the same?

    • @Markus,

      Please install missing pkg-config package using following command, which is needed to build Progress tool from sources..

      $ sudo apt-get install -y pkg-config
  2. I have an offtopic question. What is your theme windows? I mean to the theme used to the Linux machines of the post author (Black Shell)


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