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Updated: July 2017

pv (1)


pv - monitor the progress of data through a pipe


pv [OPTION] [FILE]...
pv [-h|-V]


pv(1)                            User Manuals                            pv(1)

       pv - monitor the progress of data through a pipe

       pv [OPTION] [FILE]...
       pv [-h|-V]

       pv  allows  a  user  to see the progress of data through a pipeline, by
       giving information such as time  elapsed,  percentage  completed  (with
       progress  bar),  current  throughput  rate, total data transferred, and

       To use it, insert it in a pipeline  between  two  processes,  with  the
       appropriate  options.  Its standard input will be passed through to its
       standard output and progress will be shown on standard error.

       pv will copy each supplied FILE in turn to  standard  output  (-  means
       standard  input),  or  if no FILEs are specified just standard input is
       copied. This is the same behaviour as cat(1).

       A simple example to watch how  quickly  a  file  is  transferred  using

              pv file | nc -w 1 somewhere.com 3000

       A similar example, transferring a file from another process and passing
       the expected size to pv:

              cat file | pv -s 12345 | nc -w 1 somewhere.com 3000

       A more complicated example using numeric output to feed into  the  dia-
       log(1) program for a full-screen progress display:

              (tar cf - . \
               | pv -n -s $(du -sb . | awk '{print $1}') \
               | gzip -9 > out.tgz) 2>&1 \
              | dialog --gauge 'Progress' 7 70

       Frequent  use of this third form is not recommended as it may cause the
       programmer to overheat.

       pv takes many options, which are divided into display switches,  output
       modifiers, and general options.

       If  no display switches are specified, pv behaves as if -p, -t, -e, -r,
       and -b had been given (i.e. everything except average rate is  switched
       on).   Otherwise, only those display types that are explicitly switched
       on will be shown.

       -p, --progress
              Turn the progress bar on.  If standard input is not a  file  and
              no  size was given (with the -s modifier), the progress bar can-
              not indicate how close to completion the transfer is, so it will
              just move left and right to indicate that data is moving.

       -t, --timer
              Turn  the  timer  on.   This will display the total elapsed time
              that pv has been running for.

       -e, --eta
              Turn the ETA timer on.  This will attempt  to  guess,  based  on
              previous  transfer  rates  and  the total data size, how long it
              will be before completion.  This option will have no  effect  if
              the total data size cannot be determined.

       -r, --rate
              Turn the rate counter on.  This will display the current rate of
              data transfer.

       -a, --average-rate
              Turn the average rate counter on.  This will display the average
              rate of data transfer so far.

       -b, --bytes
              Turn  the  total  byte  counter on.  This will display the total
              amount of data transferred so far.

       -n, --numeric
              Numeric output.   Instead  of  giving  a  visual  indication  of
              progress,  pv  will give an integer percentage, one per line, on
              standard error, suitable for piping (via convoluted redirection)
              into  dialog(1).   Note  that  -f is not required if -n is being

       -q, --quiet
              No output.  Useful if the -L option is being used on its own  to
              just limit the transfer rate of a pipe.

       -W, --wait
              Wait  until  the  first byte has been transferred before showing
              any progress information or calculating any ETAs.  Useful if the
              program  you  are  piping  to or from requires extra information
              before it starts, eg piping data into gpg(1) or mcrypt(1)  which
              require a passphrase before data can be processed.

       -s SIZE, --size SIZE
              Assume  the total amount of data to be transferred is SIZE bytes
              when calculating percentages and ETAs.   The  same  suffixes  of
              "k", "m" etc can be used as with -L.

       -l, --line-mode
              Instead of counting bytes, count lines (newline characters). The
              progress bar will only move when a new line is  found,  and  the
              value  passed  to  the  -s  option will be interpreted as a line

       -i SEC, --interval SEC
              Wait SEC seconds between updates.   The  default  is  to  update
              every second.  Note that this can be a decimal such as 0.1.

       -w WIDTH, --width WIDTH
              Assume  the terminal is WIDTH characters wide, instead of trying
              to work it out (or assuming 80 if it cannot be guessed).

       -H HEIGHT, --height HEIGHT
              Assume the terminal is HEIGHT rows high, instead  of  trying  to
              work it out (or assuming 25 if it cannot be guessed).

       -N NAME, --name NAME
              Prefix  the output information with NAME.  Useful in conjunction
              with -c if you have a complicated pipeline and you  want  to  be
              able to tell different parts of it apart.

       -f, --force
              Force  output.   Normally, pv will not output any visual display
              if standard error is not a terminal.  This option forces  it  to
              do so.

       -c, --cursor
              Use  cursor  positioning  escape sequences instead of just using
              carriage returns.  This is useful in conjunction with -N  (name)
              if  you  are  using  multiple  pv invocations in a single, long,

       -L RATE, --rate-limit RATE
              Limit the transfer to a maximum of RATE  bytes  per  second.   A
              suffix of "k", "m", "g", or "t" can be added to denote kilobytes
              (*1024), megabytes, and so on.

       -B BYTES, --buffer-size BYTES
              Use a transfer buffer size of BYTES bytes.   A  suffix  of  "k",
              "m",  "g",  or  "t"  can  be  added to denote kilobytes (*1024),
              megabytes, and so on.  The default buffer size is the block size
              of  the input file's filesystem multiplied by 32 (512kb max), or
              400kb if the block size cannot be determined.

       -R PID, --remote PID
              If PID is an instance of pv that is already running, -R PID will
              cause  that  instance  to  act  as though it had been given this
              instance's command line instead.  For example, if pv -L 123k  is
              running  with  process  ID 9876, then running pv -R 9876 -L 321k
              will cause it to start using a rate limit  of  321k  instead  of
              123k.   Note  that some options cannot be changed while running,
              such as -c, -l, and -f.

       -h, --help
              Print a usage message on standard output and exit successfully.

       -V, --version
              Print version information on standard output and  exit  success-

       An exit status of 1 indicates a problem with the -R option.

       Any other exit status is a bitmask of the following:

       2      One or more files could not be accessed, stat(2)ed, or opened.

       4      An input file was the same as the output file.

       8      Internal error with closing a file or moving to the next file.

       16     There  was  an  error  while  transferring data from one or more
              input files.

       32     A signal was caught that caused an early exit.

       64     Memory allocation failed.

              A zero exit status indicates no problems.

       Andrew Wood <andrew.wood@ivarch.com>

       Kevin Coyner <kcoyner@debian.org>
       (Debian package maintainer)

       Jakub Hrozek <jhrozek@redhat.com>
       (Fedora package maintainer)

       Cedric Delfosse <cedric@debian.org>
       (previous Debian package maintainer)

       Eduardo Aguiar <eduardo.oliveira@sondabrasil.com.br>
       (provided Portuguese [Brazilian] translation)

       Stephane Lacasse <stephane@gorfou.ca>
       (provided French translation)

       Marcos Kreinacke <public@kreinacke.com>
       (provided German translation)

       Bartosz Fenski <fenio@o2.pl>
       (provided Polish translation, along with Krystian Zubel)

       Joshua Jensen
       (reported RPM installation bug)

       Boris Folgmann
       (reported cursor handling bug)

       Mathias Gumz
       (reported NLS bug)

       Daniel Roethlisberger
       (submitted patch to use lockfiles for -c if terminal locking fails)

       Adam Buchbinder
       (lots of help with a Cygwin port of -c)

       Mark Tomich
       (suggested -B option)

       Gert Menke
       (reported bug when piping to dd with a large input buffer size)

       Ville Herva <Ville.Herva@iki.fi>
       (informative bug report about rate limiting performance)

       Elias Pipping
       (patch to compile properly on Darwin 9; potential NULL deref report)

       Patrick Collison
       (similar patch for OS X)

       Boris Lohner
       (reported problem that -L does not complain if given non-numeric value)

       Sebastian Kayser
       (supplied testing for SIGPIPE, demonstrated internationalisation  prob-

       Laszlo Ersek
       (reported shared memory leak on SIGINT with -c)

       Phil Rutschman
       (provided a patch for fully restoring terminal state on exit)

       Henry Precheur
       (reporting and suggestions for --rate-limit bug when rate is under 10)

       E. Rosten
       (supplied patch for block buffering in line mode)

       Kjetil Torgrim Homme
       (reported compilation error with default CFLAGS on non-GCC compilers)

       Alexandre de Verteuil
       (reported bug in OS X build and supplied test environment to fix in)

       Martin Baum
       (supplied patch to return nonzero exit status if terminated by signal)

       Sam Nelson
       (supplied patch to fix trailing slash on DESTDIR)

       Daniel Pape
       (reported Cygwin installation problem due to DESTDIR)

       Henry Gebhardt <hsggebhardt@googlemail.com>
       (supplied patches to improve SI prefixes and add --average-rate)

       Vladimir Kokarev
       Alexander Leo
       (reported that exit status did not reflect file errors)

       If  you  find  any  bugs,  please contact the primary author, either by
       email or by using the contact form on the web site.

       See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following attributes:

       |Availability   | shell/pipe-viewer |
       |Stability      | Uncommitted       |
       cat(1), dialog(1)

       This is free software, distributed under the ARTISTIC 2.0 license.

       This    software    was    built    from    source     available     at
       https://java.net/projects/solaris-userland.    The  original  community
       source     was     downloaded      from       http://pipeviewer.google-

       Further information about this software can be found on the open source
       community website at http://www.ivarch.com/programs/pv.shtml.

Linux                            December 2010                           pv(1)