Converts and copies a file.
dd [ cbs=BlockSize ] [ count=InputBlocks ] [ files=InputFiles ] [ fskip=SkipEOFs ] [ if=InFile ] [ of=OutFile ] [ seek=RecordNumber ] [ skip=SkipInputBlocks ] [ ibs=InputBlockSize ] [ obs=OutputBlockSize ] [ bs=BlockSize ] [ conv= [ ascii | block | ebcdic | ibm | unblock ] [ lcase | ucase ] [ iblock ] [ noerror ] [ swab ] [ sync ] [ oblock ] [ notrunc ] ]
dd [ Option=Value ]
The dd command reads the InFile parameter or standard input, does the specified conversions, then copies the converted data to the OutFile parameter or standard output. The input and output block size can be specified to take advantage of raw physical I/O.
Note: The term Block refers to the quantity of data read or written by the dd command in one operation and is not necessarily the same size as a disk block.
Where sizes are specified, a number of bytes is expected. A number ending with w, b, or k specifies multiplication by 2, 512, or 1024 respectively; a pair of numbers separated by an x or an * (asterisk) indicates a product.
Note: The count parameter expects the number of blocks, not the number of bytes, to be copied.
The character-set mappings associated with the conv=ascii and conv=ebcdic flags are complementary operations. These flags map between ASCII characters and the subset of EBCDIC characters found on most workstations and keypunches.
Use the cbs parameter value if specifying any of the block, unblock, ascii, ebcdic, or ibm conversions. If unblock or ascii parameters are specified, then the dd command performs a fixed-length to variable-length conversion. Otherwise it performs a conversion from variable-length to fixed-length. The cbs parameter determines the fixed-length.
Attention: If the cbs parameter value is specified smaller than the smallest input block, the converted block is truncated.
After it finishes, the dd command reports the number of whole and partial input and output blocks.
- Normally, you need only write access to the output file. However, when the output file is not on a direct-access device and you use the seek flag, you also need read access to the file.
- The dd command inserts new-line characters only when converting with the conv=ascii or conv=unblock flags set; it pads only when converting with the conv=ebcdic, conv=ibm, or conv=block flags set.
- Use the backup, tar, or cpio command instead of the dd command whenever possible to copy files to tape. These commands are designed for use with tape devices. For more information on using tape devices, see the rmt special file.
- The block size values specified with the bs, ibs and obs flags must always be a multiple of the physical block size for the media being used.
- When the conv=sync flag is specified, the dd command pads any partial input blocks with nulls. Thus, the dd command inserts nulls into the middle of the data stream if any of the reads do not receive a full block of data (as specified by the ibs flag). This is a common occurence when reading from pipes.
- If the bs flag is specified by itself and no conversions other than sync, noerror or notrunc are specified, then the data from each input block will be written as a separate output block; if the read returns less than a full block and sync is not specified, then the resulting output block will be the same size as the input block. If the bs flag is not specified, or a conversion other than sync, noerror or notrunc is specified, then the input will be processed and collected into fullsized output blocks until the end of input is reached.
The dd can be made to span across devices if the input file is larger than the output device physical size.
Note: Care has to be taken which specifying the block size bs as exact multiple of the physical size of the device since improper block size will result in data inconsistency, or overlap.
The spanning of dd across devices will not occur if either one of the InFile or the OutFile parameter is stdin or stdout.
Spanning will occur in such a way that dd will prompt for next device during write if the output device is full. During read from the input device dd will prompt for next device if the data is completely read from the input device even when the device has not reached the end. In this case it would be required to press 'n' to quit.
|Specifies both the input and output block size, superseding the ibs and obs flags. The block size values specified with the bs flag must always be a multiple of the physical block size for the media being used.
|Specifies the conversion block size for variable-length to fixed-length and fixed-length to variable-length conversions, such as conv=block.
|Copies only the number of input blocks specified by the InputBlocks variable.
|Copies the number of files specified by the InputFiles variable value of input files before ending (makes sense only where input is a magnetic tape or similar device).
|Skips past the number of end-of-file characters specified by the SkipEOFs variable before starting to copy; this SkipEOFs variable is useful for positioning on multifile magnetic tapes.
|Specifies the input-block size; the default is 512 bytes or one block. The block-size values specified with the ibs flag must always be a multiple of the physical block size for the media being used.
|Specifies the input file name; standard input is the default.
|Specifies the output-block size; the default is 512 bytes or one block. The block size values specified with the obs flag must always be a multiple of the physical block size for the media being used.
|Specifies the output file name; standard output is the default.
|Seeks the record specified by the RecordNumber variable from the beginning of output file before copying.
|Skips the specified SkipInputBlocks value of input blocks before starting to copy.
|Specifies one or more conversion options. Multiple conversions
should be separated by commas. The following list describes the
This command returns the following
|The input file was copied successfully.
|An error occurred.
Note: When you specify the conv=ebcdic parameter, the dd command converts the ASCII ^ (circumflex) character to an unused EBCDIC character (9A hexadecimal), and the ASCII ~ (tilde) to the EBCDIC ^ (NOT symbol).
Note: The performance of the dd command and cpio command to the 9348 Magnetic Tape Unit Model 12 can be improved by changing the default block size. To change the block size, use the chdev command in the following way:
chdev -l Device_name -a block_size=32k
This command writes the value of the Filename parameter to the diskette device a cylinder at a time. The conv=sync is required when reading from disk and when the file size is not a multiple of the diskette block size. Do not try this if the input to the dd command is a pipe instead of a file, it will pad most of the input with nulls instead of just the last block.
Note: If the input file is larger than the physical size of the output device then dd will prompt you for another device.
|Contains the dd command.
The backup, cp, cpio, tar, tr command.
The rmt special file.
The Backup Overview for System Management in AIX 5L Version 5.1 System Management Concepts: Operating System and Devices provides information on using backups and using memory devices.
The Files Overview in AIX 5L Version 5.1 System User's Guide: Operating System and Devices provides information on working with files.