What is socat?


socat -d -d -
A typical socat invocation


~: socat2018/09/22 19:12:30 socat[15505] E exactly 2 addresses required (there are 0); use option "-h" for help
  • the address type, followed by a :
  • zero or more required address parameters separated by :
  • zero or more address options separated by ,
The anatomy of an address


socat -d -d -


Address Options,retry=5,fork
Adress options have a many to 1 mapping with option groups.

Addresses, redux

$ socat -u STDIN STDOUT2018/10/14 14:18:15 socat[22736] N using stdin for reading2018/10/14 14:18:15 socat[22736] N using stdout for writing
$ socat STDIN STDOUT2018/10/14 14:19:48 socat[22739] N using stdin for reading and writing2018/10/14 14:19:48 socat[22739] N using stdout for reading and writing

Single Address Specification and Dual Addresses

socat -d -d -
Two Single Address Specifications
socat -d -d   READLINE\!\!OPEN:file.txt,creat,trunc   SYSTEM:'read stdin; echo $stdin'

Address options versus socat options

The Lifecycle of a socat instance


Why use socat when you can use netcat

A War Story

socat -d -d TCP-LISTEN:8004 TCP:





@copyconstruct on Twitter. views expressed on this blog are solely mine, not those of present or past employers.

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Cindy Sridharan

Cindy Sridharan

@copyconstruct on Twitter. views expressed on this blog are solely mine, not those of present or past employers.

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