Copying files between servers with netcat and tar

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One of the quickest ways (faster than scp at any rate) of copying a large number of files between 2 servers is by abusing the awesome powers of Linux’s pipeing and netcat and tar!

Basically we set up netcat listening on the server you want the files copied too which pipes it’s output to tar which extracts anything sent to it.


root@tanglefoot:/exports/archive# nc -l -p 7878 | tar -xzf -

Then we set up tar on the server we want to copy from, make it create a tarball and pipe it through a netcat which connects to the other server!


fee /home/shared/people # tar -cz MC | nc -q 10 tanglefoot 7878

When the copy has finished the sending instance of netcat will then exit!