Desktop unresponsive while using dd

While 'burning' an .iso image to a usb drive, the desktop is intermittently unresponsive.

While the dd process is ongoing, I'm trying to perform other tasks, but sometimes the desktop is completely unresponsive to my commands (e.g. switching application, bringing up another window...); the system appears to be completely frozen and I have to wait about 1 minute before the system comes back up again. When the dd process has completed (10~15 minutes to burn a 2.2Gb .iso file), everything comes back to normal, so it's not something critical.

Make dd display progress by default

When using dd, there is no output at all until the process has completed.

In order to see the progress, one has to go in a very roundabout way:

// In another console, find dd's pid:
ps aux | grep dd
// Replace $pid with the actual pid of dd.
kill -USR1 $pid
// Go back to the original console and see the progress output.

It'd be nice to have a --verbose // --silent pair of flags (with --verbose being the default) which would automatically display and update the progress report.

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