2. The bitmath command-line Tool

bitmath includes a CLI utility for easily converting units in a shell. For reference, there is also a manpage included, bitmath (1).

2.1. Synopsis

bitmath [--from-stdin] [-f IN_UNIT] [-t OUT_UNIT] VALUE ...

2.2. Options

-f <IN_UNIT>

Specify the input unit to convert from. Defaults to bitmath.Byte.


Specify the output unit to convert to. Defaults to the best human-readable prefix unit.


Reads number from stdin rather than as a CLI argument.


The value to convert.

2.3. Examples

Convert 1024 into the best human-readable unit. Without specifying any from or to values this examples defaults to treating the input value as a bitmath.Byte:

$ bitmath 1024
1.0 KiB

Convert 1024 KiB into kBs:

$ bitmath -f KiB -t kb 1024
8388.608 kb

Convert 1073741824 bytes into the best human-readable unit:

$ bitmath -f Byte 1073741824
1.0 GiB

Use the stat command to print the size of bitmath/__init__.py in bytes, pipe the output into the bitmath command, and print the result in MBs:

$ stat -c '%s' bitmath/__init__.py | bitmath --from-stdin -t MB
0.038374 MB

Convert several values at once from Bytes (the default behavior) into MBs:

$ bitmath -t MB 1234567 9876543 1337 42
1.234567 MB
9.876543 MB
0.001337 MB
4.2e-05 MB