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GNU shred takes quite some time to write over a 500GB HD. Can I pause/abort/resume? I have specified that it should be re-written over 3 times, but can I quit (Ctrl-C ?) and call it a day?

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You can't really pause, turn off the computer, come back and turn it back on again. Maybe you want to run shred 3 times each with 1 pass (not just zeroing each pass but specify a different pattern such as F0F0F0F0F then FFFFFFFF then a final pass with all 0000000. – Daisetsu Feb 10 '11 at 18:59
Can I maybe /dev/zero it after the first pass?... – crippledlambda Feb 11 '11 at 3:04
up vote 2 down vote accepted

If you want to, you can quit after for example one iteration. That is not secure (as in it's impossible to restore anything), but normal tools available for everyone can't recover files then. See for example this page for some more information.

You can pause it at least with sending command SIGSTOP, assuming you know the process id (PID):


You can resume with


Or you can use ctrlz to pause and command "fg" to resume. Please note that this pause/resume do not allow for example unplugging disk or rebooting in between, as it is not closing file descriptors.

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Nice. Thank you – crippledlambda Feb 11 '11 at 3:04

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