ETOOBUSY 🚀 minimal blogging for the impatient
Netcat... what a mess!
Netcat is a mess.
Netcat is a fantastic tool. You don’t have to trust me… just read Wikipedia on netcat:
netcat(often abbreviated to
nc) is a computer networking utility for reading from and writing to network connections using TCP or UDP. The command is designed to be a dependable back-end 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 investigation tool, since it can produce almost any kind of connection its user could need and has a number of built-in capabilities.
But… there’s more than one contender in town, and different implementation can have wildly differing features.
The Ports and reimplementations section basically says it all. On a more practical note:
- the version that comes with busybox is really simple
- the GNU netcat has a wider feature set, but lacks support for using proxies;
- the BSD netcat is more evolved, and supports proxies through the
- the Nmap netcat (a.k.a. ncat) is another alternative that
is feature-packed, including support for proxies, although with
different options (
So here we go, there’s a lot of hints around the Internet… but we get to know which alternative they’re talking about!