View Full Version : Quick and dirty file transfer with netcat and a browser.

05-15-2003, 08:55 PM
I use this to transfer files sometimes in a pinch.
It uses the tool netcat which is nc on the command line.

To create a simple single file server:
nc -l -p 1234 < file

This example listens on port 1234 on knoppix, and when
you connect to that port in a browser from another machine, the contents of the file named 'file' are sent to the client.

Here is an example of when I used it to get an excel file.
I went to the directory where the file exists, and typed in:

nc -l -p 1234 < 10.xls

then i go to my browser on the other machine
then i let it load (it looked garbled, but thats what the actual text of an excel file looks like if you were to cat it) and I think you have to hit stop after you see it's done.
I then go to file and save, and save it as 10.xls.
I can then open it in excel on the client computer.

I know there are about 1000 different ways I could have grabbed that file, and I can't promise that it will work in your situation, but this is tips & tricks and I think it's a cool trick.

Here are some more netcat tips and tricks.

Enjoy! 8)

05-15-2003, 09:11 PM
I wonder what happened, I posted this one, but it's showed up as a Guest post....
oh well....

07-24-2003, 07:31 AM
polish translation of this article / polskie t?umaczenie tego artyku?u :


09-06-2003, 11:09 PM
--That is really cool! It only works once per invocation (if the file transfer gets stopped in the middle, netcat craps out; but you could put it in a loop I suppose) but it sure beats having to start up an FTP server for just one file.

--It kind of acts like a mini-http server, but you have to know what to save the file as on the client side.

--Nice hack!

I wonder what happened, I posted this one, but it's showed up as a Guest post....
oh well....