HowTo: Virtual Serial Ports on Linux using socat, and more

socat (SOcket CAT) – multipurpose relay – is a command line based utility that establishes two bidirectional byte streams and transfers data between them.
socat is #4 on the Top 100 Network Security Tools list, available in most distro repositories (on Debian/Ubuntu sudo apt-get install socat does the trick), really light on resources, and very efficient.
Sounds simple, does wonders!

Sidenote: socat is actually #71 on the mentioned list, but since socat is a much enhanced version of netcat, which is #4, it seems to me logical to count socat as #4 also.

One of the wonders you can do is creating pairs of “virtual” ports/interfaces/sockets etc., even hybrid pairs like port-socket, etc., where one (or both) ends of the pair can also be real objects. See socat man page for more details.

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