Tested on Linux Mint 17 (Ubuntu 14.04 based)
Netcat – The TCP/IP Swiss Army Knife – is a versatile utility for writing and reading data through TCP and UDP connections.
Sending a text file through netcat (Serving the file for a client)
Server machine serving the file:
nc -v -l -q 0 -p 11055 < file.txt
Arguments: -v (verbose), -l (listening/server mode), -q 0 (quit 0 secs after Stdin sees end of file), -p (port number) 11055.
You can also use pipes to feed the file contents to netcat:
cat file.txt | nc -v -l -p 11055
And you can monitor progress and speed using the pipe viewer utility pv:
cat file.txt | pv | nc -v -l -p 11055
Client machine receiving the file:
nc 127.0.0.1 11055 > file_received.txt
Arguments: 127.0.0.1 (desired server IP address), 11055 (server port to connect to).
Remember the sender of the file must quit after done, otherwise the link remains up.
Sending a text file through netcat (client sends file to server)
Server machine receiving the file:
nc -v -l -p 11055 > file_received.txt
Client maching sending the file:
nc -q 0 127.0.0.1 11055 < file.txt
Or (using pipes) and pipe viewer:
cat file.txt | pv | nc 127.0.0.1 11055
Remember since now the client is the sender – the one sending the file – it is the responsibility of the client to end the connection (see -q 0 argument)
Tar + Netcat: Copying multiple files (Serving the file for a client)
Server machine serving the file
tar cz directory_name | nc -v -l -q 0 -p 11055
Arguments: tar (compress using tar utility), c (create archive), z (compress using gzip)
Client machine receiving the file
nc 127.0.0.1 11055 | tar xz
Arguments: x (extract), z (using gzip)
Tar + Netcat: Copying multiple files (client sends file to server)
Server machine receiving and uncompressing the files
nc -v -l -p 11055 | tar xz
Client machine sending the file
tar cz directory_name | nc -q 0 127.0.0.1 11055
Remember you can send the file from the client to the server or vice-versa, the only reason for one or the other is if one of the machines is behind a firewall.
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