February 4, 2009
Tools that know they will take a long time often come with a built-in progress indicator, but there are other utilities on Linux that often leave the user frustratedly tapping their fingers, wondering how much longer they will have to wait.
Luckily, there is a nifty little tool called
pv that will donate a progress bar to any program that can read from standard input or a pipe. pv probably stands for pipe viewer.
1. Simple example: figure out how long an
md5sum will take:
pv eternal.avi |md5sum
will display something like
96.5MB 0:00:05 [25.3MB/s] [=======> ] 9% ETA 0:00:48
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January 2, 2008
Linux does a great job of checking the local file systems every once in a while to make sure there is no corruption. Unfortunately, this luxury does not extend to removable drives. It will give you a warning (file system unchecked for so many days), but will do nothing about it. That is why I recommend doing a manual check on your external drives from time to time.
If you run fsck with the default options, it will not display any indication of progress, and that can get annoying if you have a large drive and don’t know how much longer you’ll have to wait. But there is a simple solution to this, I only wish I had taken the time to read the man page earlier:
fsck -C /dev/sda5
that will display a nice progress indicator while scanning (works only for ext2/ext3).