Are we nearly there yet..? Monitor dd progress on Mac [Raspberry Pi]

dd is very useful, but it doesn’t give you any indication of progress. Here’s how to demystify this on a Mac.

I’m doing some Raspberry Pi projects at the moment (headless so it’s easy to get things wrong), and learning through error quite a bit… This means I’m having to image some SD cards with operating systems from my Mac, the quickest way being using the dd command as described over on the Raspberry Pi site.

It drives me crazy that dd doesn’t give any indication of how it is doing. Imaging a disk takes long enough… having to stare at nothing more than a blinking prompt with no idea how much longer makes me relive long car journeys from my childhood.

Screen Shot 2016-01-07 at 11.28.41

Thankfully I figured out a way to get some idea, at least if you are using a Mac.

    • Check the size of the disk image, by right clicking and choosing ‘Get info’ or highlighting and pressing Command and ‘I’.Screen Shot 2016-01-07 at 11.29.36
    • Open ‘Activity Monitor’ on your Mac.
    • Click the ‘Disk’ tab.
    • Look for the ‘dd’ process.
    • See how much data it has read and written…
Nearly there....
Nearly there….

Of course this doesn’t tell you how long it will take, but at least gives some indication of how quickly it’s going and how much longer it will take.
Much like Dad saying ‘just a few more minutes…’.


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