In the Linux world if you ever need to make a copy of a disk, or maybe copy a DVD to an ISO, all you really need is the dd command which takes a bit level backup of whatever you want. The problem is that by default DD doesn't tell you how much time you have left, or how long the copy is taking.
I used to know of a workaround that involved opening another terminal then killing the DD process which provided you with a continued progress of sorts but it was dirty. Well those days are over.
Introducing a Linux terminal program called PV that's only job is to give you a progress bar through piped data. To install it on Ubuntu it's as simple as running sudo apt-get install pv.
To use it with DD just pipe the DD command through PV as follows:
#dd if=/dev/sdb |pv|dd of=backup.imgHere's a screen shot of my backing up a Windows 7 DVD to ISO format on Bauer-Puntu 12.10. (Don't laugh at the username and hostname!)
Pretty cool right? It's nice to know how your copy is doing, and now you can know easily with PV.