So you are restoring a database on your Linux system, and you have the 3GiB SQL file ready to go, and so
mysql -uroot -p mydb < backup-2013-10-17.sql
and then… wait. But for how long? It’s probably broken right? It should never take this long! Your service desk needs to know what to tell customers.
Pipe Viewer is a handy little tool to use in place of cat(1), which gives you a progress bar and throughput figures for long-running processes like this.
pv -cN source < backup-2013-10-17.sql | mysql -uroot -p mydb
It also gives an ETA, which is about as good as Windows file copy ETAs, but knowing that something is moving, and at what kind of pace is very reassuring.