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Have been using Ubuntu for about 2 weeks right now and I am in love with it. The only thing I was wondering if it is possible to view the percentage on a process in the terminal, sounds a bit vague but Ill explain it.

Every 2 days I am backing up my system by simply using the terminal. I know I can view my active services by simply typing "top". I notice that the service called gzip is currently active, which is (if I am not mistaken) the service needed for compressing the back up. I was wondering if I could select that service so that it shows me the approximate time needed and the percentage completed.

I don't know if it is possible, maybe that the service doesn't know the actual size of the back up being made or anything else, but I was simply wondering if there is something to monitor this. Could be coming handy for moving big files between HD's.

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gzip is not a backup service, it is only a compression program that your real backup service likely uses. – grawity Jun 8 '13 at 13:28
@grawity Thx! I changed my question. – Kipt Scriddy Jun 8 '13 at 13:32
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Quick answer: NO

gzip is simply a compression program, not a service in any way. It is equivalent to winzip (though it uses a different compression algorithm). gzip offers no option to track the completion of the process. As a general rule, on *nix you can see the manual for a command by running man COMMAND, for example man gzip.

Now, a better way to do what you are attempting is to use rsync for your backups which is designed for backing up data. rsync will not create a compressed archive but it can dynamically compress a file while it is being transferred and so dramatically speed up transfer rates:

rsync -azv --progress /files/to/backup /path/to/destination


    -a, --archive               archive mode; equals -rlptgoD (no -H,-A,-X)
    -v, --verbose               increase verbosity
    -z, --compress              compress file data during the transfer
        --progress              show progress during transfer

 -a option does the following:

Recursive mode
Preserves symbolic links
Preserves permissions
Preserves timestamp
Preserves owner and group

You may also be interested in tools that can automate all this like mintbackup

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Ahh thx! Is there also a way to exclude files that you have in the folder which you are backing up? So for instance "--exclude=/media" – Kipt Scriddy Jun 8 '13 at 14:26
Yes, rsync can do everything. Have a look through the link I posted or man rsync, the option you are looking for is --exclude=media. – terdon Jun 8 '13 at 14:29
Thank you. I am going to take a look at it right away! – Kipt Scriddy Jun 8 '13 at 14:32
gzip uses the exact same "DEFLATE" algorithm as WinZip. – grawity Jun 13 '13 at 14:04
@terdon: Yes, really, to the point that you can use gunzip to extract a file from a .zip archive (although only the first one, since that's how gunzip always works). But on the other hand, Zip archives support several compression methods, some old and out-of-use (e.g. Reduce and Implode), some newer (bzip2 or PPMd) – see APPNOTE.TXT § 4.4.5 which is the official format description. However, Deflate is the most common one. zlib's website also confirms this. – grawity Jul 11 '13 at 7:58

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