dd is a traditional utility for binary data copies

learn more… | top users | synonyms

93
votes
19answers
16k views

What is the fastest way to send massive amounts of data between two computers?

This is a situation I am frequently in: I have a source server with a 320GB hard-drive inside of it, and 16GB of ram (exact specs available here, but as this is an issue I run into frequently on ...
93
votes
12answers
75k views

How do I know if dd is still working?

I've not used dd all that much, but so far it's not failed me yet. Right now, I've had a dd going for over 12 hours - I'm writing an image back to the disk it came from - and I'm getting a little ...
74
votes
7answers
15k views

dd vs cat — is dd still relevant these days?

I recently realized we can use cat as much as dd, and it's actually faster than dd I know that dd was useful in dealing with tapes where block size actually mattered in correctness, not just ...
47
votes
5answers
26k views

Is there a way to determine the optimal value for the bs parameter to dd?

On occasion I've seen comments online along the lines of "make sure you set 'bs=' because the default value will take too long," and my own extremely-unscientific experiences of, "well that seemed to ...
43
votes
3answers
7k views

When is dd suitable for copying data? (or, when are read() and write() partial)

Short version: In what circumstances is dd safe to use for copying data, safe meaning that there is no risk of corruption due to a partial read or write? Long version — preamble: dd is often used to ...
40
votes
7answers
31k views

Best way to remove bytes from the start of a file?

Today I had to remove the first 1131 bytes from an 800MB mixed text / binary file, a filtered subversion dump I'm hacking for a new repository. What's the best way to do this? To start with I tried ...
40
votes
5answers
33k views

Is it possible to mount a gzip compressed dd image on the fly?

I like create an image backup for the first time I'm backing up a system. After this first time I use rsync to do incremental backups. My usual image backup is as follows: Mount and zero out the ...
24
votes
2answers
2k views

Patching a binary with dd

I have read this quote (below) several times, most recently here, and am continually puzzled at how dd can be used to patch anything let alone a compiler: The Unix system I used at school, 30 ...
23
votes
4answers
11k views

What does dd stand for?

I know very well what the command does, but man dd, info dd tell me: 'Convert and copy a file', as does GNU Coreutils. Google says its an abbreviation of everything between medicine and bad webchat ...
22
votes
3answers
31k views

How to dd a remote disk using SSH on local machine and save to a local disk

How can I create a backup of a remote disk using SSH on my local machine and save it to a local disk? I've tried the following: ssh hostname@my.ip.address "sudo dd if=/dev/sdX " | \ dd ...
21
votes
4answers
2k views

What's the difference between these two dd commands?

What's the difference between two dd commands that have different bs and count values, as long as they multiply to the same? For example: dd if=/dev/random of=aa bs=1G count=2 dd if=/dev/random ...
21
votes
4answers
7k views

Why does dd from /dev/random give different file sizes?

I am running the following command on an ubuntu system: dd if=/dev/random of=rand bs=1K count=2 However, every time I run it, I end up with a file of a different size. Why is this? How can I ...
21
votes
5answers
12k views

Clone whole partition or hard drive to a sparse file

I like to clone a whole partition or a whole hard drive onto a larger external disk but like to create a sparse file. I often use dd for cloning, but it doesn't support sparse files. As a workaround I ...
19
votes
4answers
5k views

Is dd able to overwrite parts of a file?

I have a 1TB big file (disk-image from a damaged drive) and a 1.3MB small file (beginning of a disk-file). Using the contents of the small file, I want to overwrite portions of the big file. That is, ...
17
votes
3answers
2k views

How can you trim files using the command line?

What is the console equivalent of the following Python code: target = file("disk", "w") # create a file target.seek(2*1024*1024*1024) # skip to 2 GB target.write("\0") target.close() Maybe some ...
14
votes
4answers
3k views

Read the middle of a large file

I have a 1 TB file. I would like to read from byte 12345678901 to byte 19876543212 and put that on standard output on a machine with 100 MB RAM. I can easily write a perl script that does this. ...
13
votes
4answers
666 views

dd: multiple input files

I need to concatenate chunks from two files: if I needed concatenate whole files, I could simply do cat file1 file2 > output But I need to skip first 1MB from the first file, and I only want ...
13
votes
2answers
868 views

Why do these duplicated SD cards have different sha1sums for their content?

I have a bunch of Class 10 UHS-1 SDHC SD cards from different manufacturers. They are all partitioned as follows $ sudo fdisk -l /dev/sdj Disk /dev/sdj: 14.9 GiB, 15931539456 bytes, 31116288 sectors ...
13
votes
2answers
13k views

Create file image container

I would like to create a 100GB file to use as a file-system. The file will be stored on an encrypted volume, so the file/file-system itself does not need to be (further) encrypted. Searching has ...
12
votes
7answers
10k views

How do I suppress dd output?

I have a bash script that creates some file using dd. The problem is dd throws a great amount of output that is going to mess with the output of my script. Searching around I've found a solution: dd ...
12
votes
2answers
617 views

dd: write to multiple disks?

I have 2 exactly same formatted, same size and same brand SD-cards. I would like to dd image to /dev/disk2 and to /dev/disk3 at the same time. Pseudocode sudo dd bs=1m ...
12
votes
3answers
37k views

Full DD copy from hdd to hdd

UPDATE: 2 This seems a lot better than before (Thanks to Groxxda for the suggestions): sudo dd if=/dev/sdb bs=128K | pv -s 3000G | sudo dd of=/dev/sdc bs=128K ETA is about 9 hours for 3TB, whereas ...
12
votes
2answers
11k views

Use `dd` to cut file end part

There is probably simple trick to do this, but I can't figure from man page. How do I cut last 1MB from file with undetermined size for example, by using dd?
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Why does dd from /dev/urandom stops early? [duplicate]

On my current Linux system (Debian Jessie amd64), I'm getting different behavior for dd using /dev/urandom (/dev/random behavior is properly documented). If I naively want 1G of random data: $ dd ...
11
votes
3answers
852 views

What does the two numbers mean respectively in dd's “a+b records” stats?

The first 2 lines in dd stats have the following format: a+b records in c+d records out Why 2 numeric values? What does this plus sign mean? It's usually a+0, but sometimes when I use bigger block ...
11
votes
1answer
18k views

How do I mount an `img` created with /bin/dd of a hard drive?

I used dd to backup a 80GB drive dd if=/dev/sdb of=~/sdb.img Now I need to access some files on that drive, but I don't want to copy the ".img" back over the drive. mount ~/sdb.img /mnt/sdb ...
11
votes
3answers
13k views

Force dd not to cache or not to read from cache

I'm working on an embedded system with the busybox version of dd. I'm trying to test an erase to the drive from some outside utility, however dd does not read from the disc again after the erase, but ...
11
votes
4answers
4k views

Create random data with dd and get “partial read warning”. Is the data after the warning now really random?

I create a 1TB file with random data with dd if=/dev/urandom of=file bs=1M count=1000000. Now I check with kill -SIGUSR1 <PID> the progress and get the following: 691581+0 Datensätze ein ...
11
votes
4answers
16k views

'seek' argument in command dd

Can some explain me what is happening in the following lines? dd if=/dev/urandom bs=4096 seek=7 count=2 of=file_with_holes especially seek part is not clear Man pages says : seek=BLOCKS ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

saving data from a failing drive

An external 3½" HDD seems to be in danger of failing — it's making ticking sounds when idle. I've acquired a replacement drive, and want to know the best strategy to get the data off of the dubious ...
10
votes
5answers
733 views

Is it safe to take the drive image of the current working drive?

I have to backup my hard disk. I want to use dd and put the image on an external hdd. Can I do this using dd from the OS that resides on the hdd itself or do I have to boot from another device, for ...
9
votes
5answers
6k views

Fast Way to Randomize HD?

I've read about how to make hard drives secure for encryption, and one of the steps is to write random bits to the drive, in order to make the encrypted data indistinguishable from the rest of the ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

How to pad a file to a desired size?

I have a file that I want to pad until it reaches 16 MiB (16777216 bytes). Currently it is 16515072 bytes. The difference is 262144 bytes. How do I pad it? This doesn't seem to be working: cp ...
9
votes
3answers
4k views

Are there alternatives for `dd`?

What other tools should I use to read and write files with truncation, seeking and skipping. dd's command line options seem inconvenient and foreign and I don't like choosing between slow, but precise ...
9
votes
3answers
325 views

How can `dd` be used to right-shift data blocks?

Consider a 100MB raw block device as a simple example. That is 204800 blocks of 512 bytes each for a total of 102760448 bytes. The challenge is to shift the first 98MB (200704 blocks) so there is a ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

Why specify block size when copying devices of a finite size?

In online tutorials it is often suggested to use the following command to copy a CDROM to an iso image: $ dd if=/dev/dvd of=foobar.iso bs=2048 Why must the byte size be specified? I notice that in ...
8
votes
2answers
13k views

dd: 'bs', 'count' & 'seek'

I've read many guides and forum posts describing how to use dd, but one thing I've noticed is that people always use different values for the 'bs=', 'count=' and 'seek=' switches. Please can someone ...
8
votes
1answer
4k views

dd: writing '/dev/null': No space left on device

I am reading a 550MB file into /dev/null and I am getting dd: writing '/dev/null': No space left on device I was surprised. I thought /dev/null is a black hole where you can send as much as you ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

How to ignore write errors while zeroing a disk?

Say you want to zero-out a failing hard disk. You want to overwrite as much as possible with zeros. What you don't want is: the process aborts on the first write-error. How to do that? AFAICS, plain ...
8
votes
2answers
13k views

gzip - redirection or piping?

I will be backing up a large (750GB) disk to an external USB disk using dd. Should I be using redirection or piping? Which is more efficient? Or is there a difference? Also, what is the best block ...
8
votes
1answer
240 views

How to re-size partitions in a complete hard drive image?

I have taken a complete image of a hard drive using: dd if=/dev/sda of=/home/user/harddriveimg bs=4M It would seem to me, that I should be able to re-size the partitions within it after suitably ...
7
votes
4answers
554 views

Protecting Devices from dd and fdisk Commands

I'm wondering if there is some way to prevent certain certain devices from becoming the output file of the dd command and the target of the fdisk command. I'm currently using the two operations to set ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Create a Random ISO Image Using dd

I would like to create a ISO file for testing optical drives with the method mentioned here. I want to create an ISO file filled with random data, so I can burn it to a CD, read it back and compare ...
7
votes
3answers
14k views

Moving /boot and MBR to a new drive

I have a CentOS 6 server with two hard drives in it. My old 3TB drive has been giving me some issues so I'm moving things over to a new drive. Because my / and /home partition are managed by a LVM ...
7
votes
2answers
8k views

Benchmark ssd on linux: How to measure the same things as crystaldiskmark does in windows

I want to benchmark a ssd (possibly with encrypted filesystems) and compare it to benchmarks done by crystaldiskmark on windows. So how can I measure approximately the same things as ...
7
votes
2answers
850 views

Why did dd create a different uuid?

root@debian:/home/tiger# dd if=/dev/sda of=/dev/sdb bs=10240k 11447+1 records in 11447+1 records out 120034123776 bytes (120 GB) copied, 4729.59 s, 25.4 MB/s root@debian:/home/tiger# blkid ...
6
votes
3answers
617 views

Why is dd not protected against writing on the active disk ?

I use dd a lot. I live in a contant fear of making a mistake one day, for example writing on sda (computer disk) instead of sdb (USB disk) and then erasing everything I have on my computer. I know dd ...
6
votes
4answers
7k views

Why can't I copy my DVD with dd?

I tried dd, dd_rescue and ddrescue, all failed. I thought these tools bypass the filesystem and make a bitwise copy. dd is fooled, it finishes but just produces a small file and states it's finished. ...
6
votes
2answers
6k views

How to check progress when cloning a disk using `dd`? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: dd: How do I know if it's still working? I'm using dd to clone a disk to an image file, and compress it on the fly: dd if=/dev/sda | gzip > /mnt/image_file How ...
6
votes
3answers
6k views

How can I make a bootable usb flashdrive?

Can I just dd an Ubuntu 11.04 mini.iso to an usb flashdrive an boot from it? or what am I missing?