Speedy Disk Imaging

One way to stress test the hell out of a computer, by using an Ubuntu Live USB stick to create a disk image:

  1. Install pigz with sudo add-apt-repository "deb http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu $(lsb_release -sc) main universe restricted multiverse" && sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install pigz
  2. Create and compress a disk image using all processor cores at once with dd if=/dev/sda bs=1M | pigz -9cv > disk-image.gz

Watch as all cores saturate with work!


So 6 cores can compress at ~95MB/second:

<stdin> to <stdout> 57241+1 records in
57241+1 records out
60022480896 bytes (60 GB) copied, 634.959 s, 94.5 MB/s

Resulting in a 6:1 compression ratio:

-rw------- 1 ubuntu ubuntu 9308731557 Mar 16 19:12 disk-image.gz

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