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FreeBSD/Linux/UNIX General Commands Manual
Hypertext Man Pages
nc
 
NC(1)			FreeBSD General Commands Manual 		 NC(1)

NAME
     nc -- arbitrary TCP and UDP connections and listens

SYNOPSIS
     nc [-46DEdhklnorStUuvz] [-e IPsec_policy] [-i interval] [-p source_port]
	[-s source_ip_address] [-w timeout] [-X proxy_protocol] [-x
	proxy_address[:port]] [hostname] [port[s]]

DESCRIPTION
     The nc (or netcat) utility is used for just about anything under the sun
     involving TCP or UDP.  It can open TCP connections, send UDP packets,
     listen on arbitrary TCP and UDP ports, do port scanning, and deal with
     both IPv4 and IPv6.  Unlike telnet(1), nc scripts nicely, and separates
     error messages onto standard error instead of sending them to standard
     output, as telnet(1) does with some.

     Common uses include:

	   o   simple TCP proxies
	   o   shell-script based HTTP clients and servers
	   o   network daemon testing
	   o   a SOCKS or HTTP ProxyCommand for ssh(1)
	   o   and much, much more

     The options are as follows:

     -4      Forces nc to use IPv4 addresses only.

     -6      Forces nc to use IPv6 addresses only.

     -D      Enable debugging on the socket.

     -d      Do not attempt to read from stdin.

     -h      Prints out nc help.

     -E      Shortcut for "-e 'in ipsec esp/transport//require' -e 'out ipsec
	     esp/transport//require'", which enables IPsec ESP transport mode
	     in both directions.

     -e      If IPsec support is available, then one can specify the IPsec
	     policies to be used using the syntax described in
	     ipsec_set_policy(3).  This flag can be specified up to two times,
	     as typically one policy for each direction is needed.

     -i interval
	     Specifies a delay time interval between lines of text sent and
	     received.	Also causes a delay time between connections to multi-
	     ple ports.

     -k      Forces nc to stay listening for another connection after its cur-
	     rent connection is completed.  It is an error to use this option
	     without the -l option.

     -l      Used to specify that nc should listen for an incoming connection
	     rather than initiate a connection to a remote host.  It is an
	     error to use this option in conjunction with the -p, -s, or -z
	     options.  Additionally, any timeouts specified with the -w option
	     are ignored.

     -n      Do not do any DNS or service lookups on any specified addresses,
	     hostnames or ports.

     -o      ``Once-only mode''.  By default, nc does not terminate on EOF
	     condition on input, but continues until the network side has been
	     closed down.  Specifying -o will make it terminate on EOF as
	     well.

     -p source_port
	     Specifies the source port nc should use, subject to privilege
	     restrictions and availability.  It is an error to use this option
	     in conjunction with the -l option.

     -r      Specifies that source and/or destination ports should be chosen
	     randomly instead of sequentially within a range or in the order
	     that the system assigns them.

     -S      Enables the RFC 2385 TCP MD5 signature option.

     -s source_ip_address
	     Specifies the IP of the interface which is used to send the pack-
	     ets.  It is an error to use this option in conjunction with the
	     -l option.

     -t      Causes nc to send RFC 854 DON'T and WON'T responses to RFC 854 DO
	     and WILL requests.  This makes it possible to use nc to script
	     telnet sessions.

     -U      Specifies to use Unix Domain Sockets.

     -u      Use UDP instead of the default option of TCP.

     -v      Have nc give more verbose output.

     -w timeout
	     If a connection and stdin are idle for more than timeout seconds,
	     then the connection is silently closed.  The -w flag has no
	     effect on the -l option, i.e. nc will listen forever for a con-
	     nection, with or without the -w flag.  The default is no timeout.

     -X proxy_version
	     Requests that nc should use the specified protocol when talking
	     to the proxy server.  Supported protocols are ``4'' (SOCKS v.4),
	     ``5'' (SOCKS v.5) and ``connect'' (HTTPS proxy).  If the protocol
	     is not specified, SOCKS version 5 is used.

     -x proxy_address[:port]
	     Requests that nc should connect to hostname using a proxy at
	     proxy_address and port.  If port is not specified, the well-known
	     port for the proxy protocol is used (1080 for SOCKS, 3128 for
	     HTTPS).

     -z      Specifies that nc should just scan for listening daemons, without
	     sending any data to them.	It is an error to use this option in
	     conjunction with the -l option.

     hostname can be a numerical IP address or a symbolic hostname (unless the
     -n option is given).  In general, a hostname must be specified, unless
     the -l option is given (in which case the local host is used).

     port[s] can be single integers or ranges.	Ranges are in the form nn-mm.
     In general, a destination port must be specified, unless the -U option is
     given (in which case a socket must be specified).

CLIENT/SERVER MODEL
     It is quite simple to build a very basic client/server model using nc.
     On one console, start nc listening on a specific port for a connection.
     For example:

	   $ nc -l 1234

     nc is now listening on port 1234 for a connection.  On a second console
     (or a second machine), connect to the machine and port being listened on:

	   $ nc 127.0.0.1 1234

     There should now be a connection between the ports.  Anything typed at
     the second console will be concatenated to the first, and vice-versa.
     After the connection has been set up, nc does not really care which side
     is being used as a `server' and which side is being used as a `client'.
     The connection may be terminated using an EOF (`^D').

DATA TRANSFER
     The example in the previous section can be expanded to build a basic data
     transfer model.  Any information input into one end of the connection
     will be output to the other end, and input and output can be easily cap-
     tured in order to emulate file transfer.

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

	   $ nc -l 1234 > filename.out

     Using a second machine, connect to the listening nc process, feeding it
     the file which is to be transferred:

	   $ nc host.example.com 1234 < filename.in

     After the file has been transferred, the connection will close automati-
     cally.

TALKING TO SERVERS
     It is sometimes useful to talk to servers ``by hand'' rather than through
     a user interface.	It can aid in troubleshooting, when it might be neces-
     sary to verify what data a server is sending in response to commands
     issued by the client.  For example, to retrieve the home page of a web
     site:

	   $ echo "GET" | nc host.example.com 80

     Note that this also displays the headers sent by the web server.  They
     can be filtered, using a tool such as sed(1), if necessary.

     More complicated examples can be built up when the user knows the format
     of requests required by the server.  As another example, an email may be
     submitted to an SMTP server using:

	   $ nc localhost 25 << EOF
	   HELO host.example.com
	   MAIL FROM: 
	   RCPT TO: 
	   DATA
	   Body of email.
	   .
	   QUIT
	   EOF

PORT SCANNING
     It may be useful to know which ports are open and running services on a
     target machine.  The -z flag can be used to tell nc not to initiate a
     connection, together with the -v (verbose) flag, to report open ports.
     For example:

	   $ nc -vz host.example.com 20-30
	   Connection to host.example.com 22 port [tcp/ssh] succeeded!
	   Connection to host.example.com 25 port [tcp/smtp] succeeded!

     The port range was specified to limit the search to ports 20 - 30.

     Alternatively, it might be useful to know which server software is run-
     ning, and which versions.	This information is often contained within the
     greeting banners.	In order to retrieve these, it is necessary to first
     make a connection, and then break the connection when the banner has been
     retrieved.  This can be accomplished by specifying a small timeout with
     the -w flag, or perhaps by issuing a "QUIT" command to the server:

	   $ echo "QUIT" | nc host.example.com 20-30
	   SSH-1.99-OpenSSH_3.6.1p2
	   Protocol mismatch.
	   220 host.example.com IMS SMTP Receiver Version 0.84 Ready

EXAMPLES
     Open a TCP connection to port 42 of hostname, using port 31337 as the
     source port, with a timeout of 5 seconds:

	   $ nc -p 31337 -w 5 hostname 42

     Open a UDP connection to port 53 of hostname:

	   $ nc -u hostname 53

     Open a TCP connection to port 42 of example.host using 10.1.2.3 as the IP
     for the local end of the connection:

	   $ nc -s 10.1.2.3 example.host 42

     Open a TCP connection to port 42 of example.host using IPsec ESP for
     incoming and outgoing traffic.

	   $ nc -E example.host 42

     Open a TCP connection to port 42 of example.host using IPsec ESP for out-
     going traffic only.

	   $ nc -e 'out ipsec esp/transport//require' example.host 42

     Send UDP packets to ports 20-30 of example.host, and report which ones
     responded with an ICMP packet after three seconds:

	   $ nc -uvz -w 3 hostname 20-30

     Create and listen on a Unix Domain Socket:

	   $ nc -lU /var/tmp/dsocket

     Connect to port 42 of hostname via an HTTP proxy at 10.2.3.4, port 8080:

	   $ nc -x10.2.3.4:8080 -Xconnect hostname 42

SEE ALSO
     cat(1)

AUTHORS
     Original implementation by *Hobbit* .
     Rewritten with IPv6 support by Eric Jackson .

FreeBSD 6.1		       January 30, 2005 		   FreeBSD 6.1
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+174
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