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Ncat: The Network Swiss Army Knife

Apr 12, 2010, 22:34 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Joe Brockmeier)

"You may already be familiar with the cat utility, which can send files to standard input and output. Ncat does something similar, except it's for sending data over the network or accepting data to a local machine. In the right hands, ncat can be an extremely useful tool for system administration and troubleshooting.

"Setting up Ncat should be pretty easy. It's packaged for most major Linux distributions, so no compiling should be required. Depending on the distro, it might be packaged separately or as part of the Nmap suite. Ncat is part of the nmap package on Ubuntu 9.10, and is ncat on openSUSE. Note that you may also run into variations of ncat called Netcat and others. It has been implemented in a number of ways, but ncat is probably the most popular version in use today. You can do mostly the same things with other versions, but the options may differ."

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