If you're using dd for making backups or shifting around data of an considerable size, a lack of progress bar can be annoying and leave you having to employ annoying hacks to try and get status on your data transfer.
The good news is that there is an open source command line progress bar called, aptly enough, bar, that can be used to give you a nice wget-esque progress bar as the data shifts over. Unfortunately, there seems to be a limitation in its utility in that you have to specify the size of the data for the progress bar to be accurate, but then this isn't awfully hard to do.
If you head on over to the Command Line Progress Bar page you can see examples of how it's used. Basically put, you need to pipe dd through the program like so:
$ dd if=input | bar -s sizeinbytes > destination
Admittedly, it isn't at all that elegant a solution and there is probably a much better one somewhere, but still, it is much better than being left in the dark as to how a transfer of tens of gigabytes is going.
The bar tool can be installed from source (it's a pretty easy case of extracting, doing ./configure, make then make install as root), or by RPM or Debian package, for which the downloads are here. As always, check your package manager first and install it from there if at all possible.
It's not perfect, but it's better than nothing so I thought I would share that with our readers.