dd in conjunction with any stream-processing CPU-intensive program can be used
as a simple CPU benchmark!
You can run this out of the box as follows:
$ dd if=/dev/zero bs=1M count=1024 | md5sum 1024+0 records in 1024+0 records out 1073741824 bytes (1.1 GB) copied, 2.28735 s, 469 MB/s cd573cfaace07e7949bc0c46028904ff -
In this case the
md5sum program was used,
which calculates the MD5 hash of data that is fed to it.
dd here fetches 1 GB of zeroes from the Linux kernel,
feeds that to
and then prints how fast in MB/sec that was processed.
This was executed on a modern 3.6 GHz AMD Phenom II CPU.