Monitor rsync’s Progress

In this article, we’re going to learn how to monitor rsync’s progress. It’s a pretty trivial article, but it’s something you may want to know – especially if you’re using rsync often. Read on and learn how to monitor the progress of rsync. 

For the curious, I use rsync every day. It’s a part of what I do to beta test Lubuntu. It’s pretty handy for syncing my existing .iso with a fresh daily .iso, saving both Ubuntu and I a bunch of bandwidth.

I also use it locally. If I want to backup something like my home directory, there aren’t many better choices. Rather than mess with various applications, I can just write a simple command and can even automate it by making it a cronjob. 

However, it’s nice to get some feedback. It’s nice to see how far and how fast the syncing is taking place. It’s handy to monitor rsync’s progress. There are a couple of neat ways to do this, so I’ll show you them. 

If you don’t know, rsync is a tool used to sync files. It’s great for copying files from one location to another location. It even has some checks and balances, so it’s pretty great. By the way, the man page defines it like:

rsync – a fast, versatile, remote (and local) file-copying tool

Which I think is an apt and fair description. So, with that in mind, let’s move into the article about how to …

Monitor rsync’s Progress:

This article requires an open terminal, like many other articles on this site. If you don’t know how to open the terminal, you can do so with your keyboard – just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open.

For the most part, rsync works like so:

Now, you can just show the progress with the -av flags. The ‘a’ for “archive” and the ‘v’ is for verbose. That is a handy command. You will also need the ‘–info=progress2’ to go along with it. 

To use it, it might look something like this (to backup sync your entire home directory in this example):

See? That’ll output the progress as you go. For local stuff, that’s pretty much my ‘go-to’ command, or close enough.

But wait, there’s more!

That’s right, there’s more to know if you want to monitor rsync’s progress!

First, install ‘progress’. It’s probably not installed by default, so you’ll have to install it manually with your own package manager. For example, with apt in Ubuntu, it’s just:

With that done, it’s a tiny application, open up another terminal window – so that rsync is still happily running in your first terminal instance, and run the following command in the second terminal:

Pretty frickin’ neat, huh? You can monitor your rsync command’s progress quite easily with that command. It gives you a pretty good readout for your rsync’s progress. If nothing else, it’ll keep you amused while your data syncs. 


Yay! Today you have another article. I still haven’t missed a day. You’ve had an article every other day for a long time now. Well, today is no different and in this article you learning how to monitor rsync’s progress – a pretty handy tool, especially for the inquisitive. 

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