GNU Parallel

GNU Parallel is a utility for executing commands in parallel. It provides a really easy way of  running a command over multiple files and utilising multiple cores, using only a single line.

You can download the latest version from:

Or check the package manager for your distro if you’re on linux.

Installation should just be:

sudo make install

There are lots of options and different ways of using parallel, here are a couple of examples:

1. Uncompress and untar all files in a directory.

ls *tar.gz | parallel tar -xf

2. Recursively find RSGISLib XML scripts and run using two cores (-j 2)

find ./ -name 'run_*.xml' | parallel -j 2 rsgisexe -x

3. Find all KEA files and create stats and pyramids using gdalcalcstats from

ls *kea | gdalcalstats {} -ignore 0

4. Convert KEA (.kea) files to ERDAS imagine format using gdal_translate, removing ‘.kea’ and adding ‘_img.img’

ls *kea | parallel "gdal_translate -of HFA {} {.}_img.img"

# Calculate stats and pyramids after translating
ls *kea | parallel "gdal_translate -of HFA {} {.}_img.img; \

gdalcalcstats {.}_img.img -ignore 0"

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