How to Use Netcat to Quickly Transfer Files Between Linux Computers


There’s no shortage of software solutions that can help you transfer files between computers. However, if you do this very rarely, the typical solutions such as NFS and SFTP (through OpenSSH) might be overkill. Furthermore, these services are permanently open to receiving and handling incoming connections. Configured incorrectly, this might make your device vulnerable to certain attacks.

netcat, the so-called “TCP/IP swiss army knife,” can be used as an ad-hoc solution for transferring files through local networks or the Internet. It’s also useful for transferring data to/from your virtual machines or containers when they don’t include the feature out of the box. You can even use it as a copy-paste mechanism between two devices.

Most Linux-based operating systems come with this pre-installed. Open a terminal and type:

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