A Unix copy command with special options suitable for block-oriented devices; it was often used in heavy-handed system maintenance, as in "Let's "dd" the root partition onto a tape, then use the boot PROM to load it back on to a new disk".

dd had a distinctly non-Unixy keyword option syntax reminiscent of IBM System/360 JCL (which had an elaborate DD "Dataset Definition" specification for I/O devices). Though the command filled a need, the interface design was clearly a prank.

[Jargon File]

Last updated: 2005-08-08

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Nearby terms:

DCS « DCT « DD « dd » DDB » DDCMP » DDE