8 helpful uses of the netcat command on Linux

Netcat (nc) is often called the Swiss army knife of networking on Linux. Let us see a few important things that we can achieve with the nc command when we are tasked with networking on Linux.

Scan a local port number

Scanning a single port (In this case Port:80) on localhost with nc.

nc -vw1 0.0.0.0 80

Scan local port range

Scanning multiple ports (Ports:75-85) on localhost with nc.

 nc -vw1 0.0.0.0 75-85

Scan a remote port

Scanning a particular port on a remote host with nc. For instance if you want to scan Port 80 of our website.

nc -vw1 hackerdays.com 80

Scan a remote port range

Scanning multiple ports on localhost with nc. For instance if you want to scan Port 75 to 85 of our website.

nc -vw1 hackerdays.com 75-85

Start a Server to listen on a local port

nc -l 4545

Simple one to one chat(data sending) client and server model

Create a Server and listen to a port on 1 computer

nc -l 0.0.0.0 4545

Connect to the port of that computer from a different computer/machine which acts as a Client (Or in this case, using my [same] machine but from another terminal instead)

 nc 0.0.0.0 4545

Now you can start typing and press Enter in any of the 2 terminals, and see the data being sent to the other side.

Never end listening on a port as a Server

nc -kl 0.0.0.0 4545

Transfer Data

Start by using nc to listen on a specific port, with output captured into a file:

 nc -l 0.0.0.0 4545 > icon_copied.png

Use a second machine (Or in this case, using my [same] machine but from another terminal), connect to the ip and port of the machine where the listening nc process is started, giving it the file to be sent:

 nc 0.0.0.0 4545 < icon.png

Thanks for reading! Please do let us know if you have anything to share with us in the comment box section.

Happy Linux-ing! (Is that even a word? :wondering: )

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *