Is anybody else not able to get
nc -lp 8888 working on Mac OS X? Is there another way to get this to work?
It looks to me as if the
-p option does nothing on the OS X version of netcat. To get it to work, I must do
nc -l localhost 8888.
9Unless installed from homebrew, then
nc -l -p 8888works. Dec 3, 2012 at 13:27
-l ... It is an error to use this option in conjunction with the -p, -s, or -z options. ...You probably want to just stick with @kzh's command there– fatuhokuOct 11, 2013 at 18:41
@fatuhoku I just checked my manual, and yest it does say that in there, but the weird thing is that if I do
nc -lp 8888or
nc -l -p 8888it will then take
-pto mean listening port. So my distributed copy does not listen to its own manual!– kzhOct 11, 2013 at 20:31
Agreed! Flags are a bit too expressive... it should have just refused to do any useful work, output a message and quit!– fatuhokuOct 11, 2013 at 21:02
1Works also with nc -l 8888– polymJun 19, 2015 at 10:49
Here's how this is working for me on OS X 10.10, with either the installed BSD version, or the one from Homebrew:
When using the BSD version that ships with OS X, a server can be started like this
/usr/bin/nc -l 9999
- Install using Homebrew:
brew install netcat
- This will install v0.7.1 of http://netcat.sourceforge.net/
- One can use either the
ncis an alias for
To start a server:
nc -l -p 9999
To start a client:
nc targethost 9999
To get the manpage of this version, one needs to use
man netcat, as
man nc will open the manpage of the BSD version.
I needed to test a web service over SSL, which ncat (made by the nmap team) supports.
brew install nmap ncat -C --ssl api.somecompany.com 443
nc on MacOS has too many bugs, and Apple did none patch for years. the netcat from homebrew is a very low version. use ncat from nmap instead
2+1, as of today,
netcat. Terrible.– ijosephOct 20, 2020 at 22:29
nmapversion here (link)– ijosephOct 20, 2020 at 22:30
ncon MacOS has too many bugs" -> I can only confirm this. 😕 Fiddling around with it today and facing some inconsistent behaviours. I believe this version of nc from 2005 is the one that they're still using. Ended up using socat instead:
brew install socat. Apr 30, 2022 at 21:10
nc -lp 8888works on my Ubuntu box.