I have some 500 files of 650MB each, named bigfile.000 to bigfile.199 and I need to calculate the MD5 checksum of all files combined. The command I am using is:

cat bigfile.* | md5sum

I have the time, and I understand it will take hours to complete, but I still want to check the progress. Is there any way to do so? Like piping something in between and do a word count that doesn't affect performance much?

  • possible duplicate of Progress and speed with 'cp'?
    – karel
    May 9, 2014 at 11:38
  • 4
    I think it's not a duplicate question - they are different questions but simply the same answer that solves two different problems. cp is different from cat anyway.
    – Kenneth L
    May 12, 2014 at 6:45

2 Answers 2


Use pv. It is in the repos, and shows a nice progress bar.

pv bigfile.* | md5sum  

should do what you want.


Progress bar plus stats: ETA, ...:

pv -pteIrabT file | md5sum

For example:

# pv -pteIrabT hugefile.tar.lzo | sha1sum 
7.59GiB {----} 0:03:22 [39.1MiB/s] [38.5MiB/s] [>                          ]  7% ETA 0:41:47 ETA 19:45:26
  • 1
    This doesn't seem to give any more output than just using pv without any options.
    – SiHa
    Jun 29, 2021 at 10:35

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