New package: socat

Andrew Schulman
Wed Sep 23 16:08:00 GMT 2009

The socat package is now available in the Cygwin distribution.  Version is current, and version 2.0.0b3-1 (a beta release of socat
version 2) is in test.

socat (socket cat) is a relay for bidirectional data transfer between two
independent data channels. Each of these data channels may be a file, pipe,
device (serial line etc. or a pseudo terminal), a socket (UNIX, IP4, IP6 -
raw, UDP, TCP), an SSL socket, proxy CONNECT connection, a file descriptor
(stdin etc.), the GNU line editor (readline), a program, or a combination
of two of these. These modes include generation of "listening" sockets,
named pipes, and pseudo terminals.

socat can be used, e.g., as TCP port forwarder (one-shot or daemon), as an
external socksifier, for attacking weak firewalls, as a shell interface to
UNIX sockets, IP6 relay, for redirecting TCP oriented programs to a serial
line, to logically connect serial lines on different computers, or to
establish a relatively secure environment (su and chroot) for running
client or server shell scripts with network connections.

Many options are available to refine socats behaviour: terminal parameters,
open() options, file permissions, file and process owners, basic socket
options like bind address, advanced socket options like IP source routing,
linger, TTL, TOS (type of service), or TCP performance tuning.

More capabilities, like daemon mode with forking, client address check,
"tail -f" mode, some stream data processing (line terminator conversion),
choosing sockets, pipes, or ptys for interprocess communication, debug and
trace options, logging to syslog, stderr or file, and last but not least
precise error messages make it a versatile tool for many different

In fact, many of these features already exist in specialized tools; but
until now, there does not seem to exists another tool that provides such a
generic, flexible, simple and almost comprehensive (UNIX) byte stream

Source homepage:
License:            GPL; see COPYING for details.

Andrew Schulman


To update your installation, click on the "Install Cygwin now" link on
the web page.  This downloads setup.exe to your
system.  Then, run setup and answer all of the questions.


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