Manual browser: progress(1)

PROGRESS(1) General Commands Manual PROGRESS(1)


progressfeed input to a command, displaying a progress bar


progress [-ez] [-b buffersize] [-f file] [-l length] [-p prefix] cmd [args ...]


The progress utility opens a pipe to cmd and feeds an input stream into it, while displaying a progress bar to standard output. If no filename is specified, progress reads from standard input. Where feasible, progress fstat(2)s the input to determine the length, so a time estimate can be calculated.

If no length is specified or determined, progress simply displays a count of the data and the data rate.

The options are as follows:

-b buffersize
Read in buffers of the specified size (default 64k). An optional suffix (per strsuftoll(3)) may be given.
Display progress to standard error instead of standard output.
-f file
Read from the specified file instead of standard input.
-l length
Use the specified length for the time estimate, rather than attempting to fstat(2) the input. An optional suffix (per strsuftoll(3)) may be given.
-p prefix
Print the given “prefix” text before (left of) the progress bar.
Filter the input through gunzip(1). If -f is specified, calculate the length using gzip -l.


The progress utility exits 0 on success, and >0 if an error occurs.


The command
progress -zf file.tar.gz tar xf -
will extract the file.tar.gz displaying the progress bar as time passes:

  0% |                               |     0        0.00 KiB/s    --:-- ETA 
 40% |********                       |   273 KiB  271.95 KiB/s    00:01 ETA 
 81% |***********************        |   553 KiB  274.61 KiB/s    00:00 ETA 
100% |*******************************|   680 KiB  264.59 KiB/s    00:00 ETA

If it is preferred to monitor the progress of the decompression process (unlikely), then

progress -f file.tar.gz tar zxf -
could be used.

The command

dd if=/dev/rwd0d ibs=64k | \
progress -l 120g dd of=/dev/rwd1d obs=64k
will copy the 120 GiB disk wd0 (/dev/rwd0d) to wd1 (/dev/rwd1d), displaying a progress bar during the operation.


progress first appeared in NetBSD 1.6.1. The dynamic progress bar display code is part of ftp(1).


progress was written by John Hawkinson <>. ftp(1)'s dynamic progress bar was written by Luke Mewburn.


Since the progress bar is displayed asynchronously, it may be difficult to read some error messages, both those produced by the pipeline, as well as those produced by progress itself.
June 6, 2007 NetBSD 7.0