nc.traditional(1)



NC(1)                       General Commands Manual                      NC(1)

NAME
       nc - TCP/IP swiss army knife

SYNOPSIS
       nc [-options] hostname port[s] [ports] ...
       nc -l -p port [-options] [hostname] [port]

DESCRIPTION
       netcat is a simple unix utility which reads and writes data across net-
       work connections, using TCP or UDP protocol. It is  designed  to  be  a
       reliable  "back-end" tool that can be used directly or easily driven by
       other programs and scripts.  At the same time,  it  is  a  feature-rich
       network  debugging and exploration tool, since it can create almost any
       kind of connection you would need and has several interesting  built-in
       capabilities.   Netcat,  or "nc" as the actual program is named, should
       have been supplied long ago as another one of those cryptic  but  stan-
       dard Unix tools.

       In  the  simplest usage, "nc host port" creates a TCP connection to the
       given port on the given target host.  Your standard input is then  sent
       to the host, and anything that comes back across the connection is sent
       to your standard output.  This continues indefinitely, until  the  net-
       work  side  of  the  connection shuts down.  Note that this behavior is
       different from most other applications which shut everything  down  and
       exit after an end-of-file on the standard input.

       Netcat  can also function as a server, by listening for inbound connec-
       tions on arbitrary ports and then doing the same reading  and  writing.
       With  minor  limitations,  netcat  doesn't  really  care  if it runs in
       "client" or "server" mode -- it still shovels data back and forth until
       there isn't any more left. In either mode, shutdown can be forced after
       a configurable time of inactivity on the network side.

       And it can do this via UDP too, so netcat is possibly the "udp  telnet-
       like"  application you always wanted for testing your UDP-mode servers.
       UDP, as the "U" implies, gives less reliable data transmission than TCP
       connections  and some systems may have trouble sending large amounts of
       data that way, but it's still a useful capability to have.

       You may be asking "why not just use  telnet  to  connect  to  arbitrary
       ports?"  Valid  question,  and  here  are some reasons.  Telnet has the
       "standard input EOF" problem, so one must introduce  calculated  delays
       in driving scripts to allow network output to finish.  This is the main
       reason netcat stays running until the *network*  side  closes.   Telnet
       also  will  not transfer arbitrary binary data, because certain charac-
       ters are interpreted as telnet options and are thus  removed  from  the
       data  stream.   Telnet  also  emits  some of its diagnostic messages to
       standard output, where netcat keeps such things  religiously  separated
       from its *output* and will never modify any of the real data in transit
       unless you *really* want it to.  And of course telnet is  incapable  of
       listening  for  inbound  connections,  or  using  UDP  instead.  Netcat
       doesn't have any of these limitations, is much smaller and faster  than
       telnet, and has many other advantages.

OPTIONS
       -c string    specify  shell  commands  to  exec after connect (use with
                    caution).  The string is passed to /bin/sh -c  for  execu-
                    tion.   See  the  -e  option  if  you don't have a working
                    /bin/sh (Note that POSIX-conformant system must have one).

       -e filename  specify filename to exec after connect (use with caution).
                    See the -c option for enhanced functionality.

       -g gateway   source-routing hop point[s], up to 8

       -G num       source-routing pointer: 4, 8, 12, ...

       -h           display help

       -i secs      delay interval for lines sent, ports scanned

       -l           listen mode, for inbound connects

       -n           numeric-only IP addresses, no DNS

       -o file      hex dump of traffic

       -p port      local  port  number  (port  numbers  can  be individual or
                    ranges: lo-hi [inclusive])

       -q seconds   after EOF on stdin, wait the specified number  of  seconds
                    and then quit. If seconds is negative, wait forever.

       -b           allow UDP broadcasts

       -r           randomize local and remote ports

       -s addr      local source address

       -t           enable telnet negotiation

       -u           UDP mode

       -v           verbose [use twice to be more verbose]

       -w secs      timeout for connects and final net reads

       -C           Send CRLF as line-ending

       -z           zero-I/O mode [used for scanning]

       -T type      set  TOS flag (type may be one of "Minimize-Delay", "Maxi-
                    mize-Throughput",  "Maximize-Reliability",  or  "Minimize-
                    Cost".)

COPYRIGHT
       Netcat  is  entirely my own creation, although plenty of other code was
       used as examples.  It is freely given away to the Internet community in
       the  hope  that  it  will be useful, with no restrictions except giving
       credit where it is due.  No GPLs, Berkeley copyrights or  any  of  that
       nonsense.  The author assumes NO responsibility for how anyone uses it.
       If netcat makes you rich somehow and you're feeling generous, mail me a
       check.   If you are affiliated in any way with Microsoft Network, get a
       life.  Always ski in control.  Comments, questions, and patches to hob-
       bit@avian.org.

NOTES
       Some  port  names  in /etc/services contain hyphens -- netcat currently
       will not correctly parse those unless you escape the hyphens with back-
       slashes (e.g. "netcat localhost 'ftp\-data'").

BUGS
       Efforts  have  been made to have netcat "do the right thing" in all its
       various modes.  If you believe that it is doing the wrong  thing  under
       whatever  circumstances,  please notify me and tell me how you think it
       should behave.  If netcat is not able to do some  task  you  think  up,
       minor  tweaks  to the code will probably fix that.  It provides a basic
       and easily-modified template for writing  other  network  applications,
       and  I  certainly  encourage people to make custom mods and send in any
       improvements they make to it. Continued feedback from the Internet com-
       munity is always welcome!

EXAMPLES
       For  several netcat recipes, please see /usr/share/doc/netcat/README.gz
       and /usr/share/doc/netcat/README.Debian.gz.

AUTHOR
       This manual page was written by Joey Hess <joeyh@debian.org> and Robert
       Woodcock <rcw@debian.org>, cribbing heavily from Netcat's README file.

       Netcat was written by a guy we know as the Hobbit <hobbit@avian.org>.

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