I am using dd to copy iso images to a thumb drive. Is there a way to output the status of dd during the copy process?

2 Answers 2


If you're using OS X, you can press CTRL-T and it will give you a progress update.

  • so simple, i wonder why everyone chooses some complex command line wizardry over this Feb 13, 2017 at 9:38
  • Mostly because this is OS X/BSD specific, I think.
    – zymhan
    Feb 16, 2017 at 17:36

You can use any command line technique genially available to any *nix user. There are loads of examples:

  1. Ask Ubuntu
  2. http://pfynotes.blogspot.com/2011/05/monitoring-progress-of-dd-on-osx.html
  3. command line fu

They all basically lump into one of two categories: send a kill signal (like CTRL-T) or pipe the output through a viewer like pv. I would only recommend pv only if you already use MacPorts or HomeBrew. Simplest example:

dd if=file.iso | pv | dd of=/dev/sda3

If you have more than 1 file to transfer & also want % complete and and ETA, then you have to provide pv the size of the stream it's watching. You can provide the size of a directory tree as

 `SIZE=$(du -sb . | awk '{print $1}')` 

or an entire file system as

 `SIZE=$(df -B1 /dev/sda1 | tail -n1 | tr -s ' ' | cut -d' ' -f2)`  

and then pass the size in to pv as:

dd if=file.iso | pv -s $SIZE | dd of=/dev/sda3

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