I am new to terminal. I started moving 30 gigs of data, from my desktop to my portable harddisk with the command mv location1 location2.

The problem is, I cannot see, how much data has been transferred.

How to see the progress in a bar format or in percentage format?


I found this https://github.com/atdt/advcpmv it adds the -g option to cp and mv which will display a progress bar.

Here's how I got it to work on El Captain:



wget http://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/coreutils/coreutils-8.21.tar.xz
tar xvJf coreutils-8.21.tar.xz
cd coreutils-8.21/
wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/atdt/advcpmv/master/advcpmv-0.5-8.21.patch
patch -p1 -i advcpmv-0.5-8.21.patch

At this point you will have cp and mv binaries in src/ give them a try and if you don't have problem with them you can move them to /usr/local/bin.

You may also rename the two binaries to cpgres and mvgres (or other unique names) so that you can use the standard cp/mv commands also.

  • @klanomath You are wrong, I just tried and it works fine. Thanks for downvoting without trying. So I will the answer with the steps. – sebastienvg Jul 27 '16 at 20:10
  • I downvoted the answer because it was almost a link-only answer. But I also upvote answer after they got improved ;-)! – klanomath Jul 27 '16 at 21:23

rsync can do that for you, with a nice progress meter that (as the man page says) "gives a bored user something to watch".

rsync --progress --remove-source-files {source file} {destination}

There's a lot else that rsync can do, such as mirroring directories, recursing large trees, throttling bandwidth usage, and much more. man rsync is your friend.

Oh, and since you're moving a directory tree, be sure to include the --recursive option.

  • it does not give a progress meter for the whole set of files.it shows for each specific file. which is just occupying terminal space, no actual knowledge is achieved from it. – Mayur Tolani Jul 27 '16 at 20:20

The standard mv command doesn't offer an option to show progress. What you can do instead is

  • open a new Terminal tab with Cmd-T
  • check the size of the target file by running ls -l location2

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .