How to see file transfer progress and status with mv command (Linux Ubuntu CLI)

I’ve been moving some big files lately with Chia and with each one of the files being over 100GB, it’s hard to use the sudo mv command and then see a blank screen.

We’re going to be installing progress, a super simple command-line tool that allows you to view the status of any file transfer across Linux directories. Progress tracks different Linux commands like cp, mv, dd, tar, cat, rsync and others.

Recently I found out about a new tool that I can use (in a separate terminal) to watch the progress of the file moving with things like time and network speed.

It only requires two lines in the terminal and then a simple command to see the current progress. There is also a separate command that allows the progress to be updated every 2 seconds for a more real-time feel.

To install progress with apt, follow these steps.

FYI: using the -y command allows the installation to happen without any more actions from you after hitting enter.

  1. sudo apt-get update -y
  2. sudo apt-get install -y progress

Once Progress is installed, you can run a normal status update with progress -w. Make sure that if you ran your mv command with sudo privileges, you type sudo progress -w instead.

For the real-time status updates every 2 seconds, type sudo watch progress -w in a separate terminal to see updates as they happen. You will be able to track both the network speed and estimated time remaining in this window.

Make sure to check whether or not you ran with sudo. If you try to use only progress -w without sudo, you might see the following:

No command currently running: cp, mv, dd, tar, cat, rsync, grep, fgrep, egrep, cut, sort, md5sum, sha1sum, sha224sum, sha256sum, sha384sum, sha512sum, adb, gzip, gunzip, bzip2, bunzip2, xz, unxz, lzma, unlzma, 7z, 7za, zcat, bzcat, lzcat, split, gpg, or wrong permissions.

Here’s an example of what the status part looks like

3.0% (3.1 GiB / 101.3 GiB) 163.0 MiB/s remaining 0:10:17

After install progress, it’s become a normal tool in my workflow. I can now transfer files and watch the status over on the side of my screen to start another transfer or just to see if something happened.