How to Use the dd Command on Ubuntu Linux

Use the dd command on Ubuntu Linux background

This article explains how to use the dd command on Ubuntu Linux with some examples.

The dd command on Ubuntu Linux is a powerful tool for copying and converting data. It is often used to create and write disk images, create bootable USB drives, and copy data between devices.

The command can be tricky to use, so it’s important to double-check your syntax and ensure the correct devices are selected before running any commands. Overall, the dd command is a valuable tool for anyone working with data on Ubuntu Linux.

To use the dd command on Ubuntu Linux, you can open the terminal and type “dd,” followed by the command options.

About the dd command:

The dd command on Ubuntu Linux is a powerful tool for copying and converting data. You can use the command to create and write disk images, create bootable USB drives, and copy data between devices.


The syntax is the rule and format of how the dd command can be used. These syntax options can be reordered, but a straight format must be followed.

Below is an example syntax of how to use the dd command.

dd [options]


The command line options are switches or flags that determine how the commands are executed or controlled. They modify the behavior of the commands. They are separated by spaces and followed after the commands.

Below are some options for the dd command:

 Options:Replace Options: with the options to run with the dd command
if=FILEUse the if=FILE option to read from FILE instead of stdin.
of=FILE Use the of=FILE  option to rite to FILE instead of stdout.
 bs=BYTESUse the bs=BYTES option to convert BYTES bytes at a time.
count=NUse the count=N option to copy only N input blocks.
status=LEVELUse the status=LEVEL option to display the LEVEL of information to print to stderr; ‘none’ suppresses everything but error messages, ‘noxfer’ suppresses the final transfer statistics, ‘progress’ shows periodic transfer statistics
 –versionoutput version information and exit

For example, if you want to create a bootable USB drive from an ISO image, you can use the following command:

dd if=/path/to/iso/image.iso of=/dev/sdX bs=4M status=progress 

In this command:

  • if” stands for the input file (the ISO image you want to copy)
  • of” stands for the output file (the USB drive you want to write to),
  • bs” stands for block size (the amount of data to read and write at a time)
  • status” displays the progress of the copying process.

To create a bootable drive, you must first unmount it if it’s already mounted. Run the command below to do that.

sudo unmount /path/to/drive

You can also create a disk image or backup using the dd command. For example, you can create an image file of the /dev/sda disk and store it in the backup.img file.

sudo dd if=/dev/sda of=backup.img status=progress 

The dd command can also be used to clone a disk drive. For example, you use the command below to clone or copy /dev/sda to /dev/sdb.

sudo dd if=/dev/sda of=/dev/sdb status=progress 

Finally, you can use the dd command to erase a disk drive by writing random data across the drive, making the drive content unrecoverable.

sudo dd if=/dev/urandom of=/dev/sda1 bs=1M status=progress 

The bs=1M option sets one block size to equal 1 megabyte.

There might be other ways one can use the dd command. Howerver, the few examples above should get you started.

That should do it!


This post showed you how to use the dd command with a few examples on Ubuntu Linux. If you find any errors above or have something to add, please use the comments form below.

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