Using dd to transfer images and show progress

Saturday Oct 3, 2020

dd - Image utility for Mac/Linux

On Mac and Linux, we don’t need special softare to write an image, the dd utility can do it for us.

Showing progress

After we know which USB drive we want to write to, and after unmounting it, we can use the pv utility to show progress:

cat /tmp/somefile.img | pv | dd of=/dev/disk2 bs=1m

Now we have a nice bar that shows how much data has been transferred.

Speeding up on Mac

Also, on a Mac we can triple our speeds when copying by using /dev/rdiskx instead of /dev/diskx