Subject: Re: Proposal for new utility in base: bin/nc
To: Eric Gillespie, Jr. <>
From: Dave <>
List: tech-userlevel
Date: 10/11/2001 21:42:06
On Thu, 11 Oct 2001, Eric Gillespie, Jr. wrote:

> nc (netcat) is one of the most useful tools around.  When
> installing a new system, the first thing i always do is put an nc
> binary on a floppy so i can mass-transfer other files onto the
> system.  The author of the original implementation wonders why nc
> wasn't part of UNIX systems already.  I often find myself
> wondering that, too, so i decided to do something about it.
> I soon learned is that the original nc is unmaintainable and very
> crufty.  So i started from scratch.  This new implementation is
> small and clean, and supports IPv6.  I didn't implement the
> original nc's stranger features such as port randomization, and i
> also left out UDP.  AFAIK no one actually uses these, though it
> shouldn't be hard to add them if there demand were there.

Unless there's a really good reason for leaving out those features, I'd
put them in.  I'd be more than a bit annoyed to sit at a machine, say "Oh
goody, netcat!  I'll just run my bizarro udp super-server-hammer and we'll
see where the problem is." and then discover that my favorite diagnostic
scripts no longer work.

> I'm sure even suggesting adding a program to the base system at
> this point is sacrilege, but it is very small (12315 bytes
> dynamically linked).  Its usefulness more than justifies its
> presence, IMHO.

Maybe static-linking would be good.  I've used netcat to resurrect some
horribly-mangled machines in which not much else worked.  Nice as a quick
and dirty server or client.

David Griffith