On command-line and/or file managers (such as nautilus), how do we set an upper limit to data transfer/copy speed?

I haven't found anything on the manuals of cp or mv. I wan't to know this since I'm having problems putting files in a MicroSD cards of Class 4. Transferring small amounts is fine, but when I put up a large queue of files (like 100 files totaling 10 GB), an "input/output error" appears and then, the SD card gets locked and I cannot delete or do anything with it. Setting a transfer speed would probably fix it.

  • 1
    Thanks for asking! It's interesting for my usb device too, so I added the tag :)
    – PythoNic
    Feb 26, 2014 at 15:14

1 Answer 1


I think scp -l 500 original /some/destination/ might me your best option.

  • -l Limits the used bandwidth, specified in Kbit/s.

See man page

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    thanks for the help! would appreciate if anyone shared a filemanager-like drag-n-drop method too. Cheers!
    – Yul Otani
    Jun 2, 2013 at 4:29
  • Thanks! Also a method limiting the access to the volume across the entire system would be helpful. Oct 30, 2022 at 13:15

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