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I started experimenting with Linux for fun, first with Slackware, but in the last few years more with Debian and its derivative distributions. Lately I've been using Linux increasingly in my job. As I've gotten more experienced with Linux, I've started teaching Linux courses to colleagues. Connectivity and fast package and file management are important components in my administration toolbox.

OpenSSH

OpenSSH is my all-time favorite set of tools. I often use it for port forwarding to networks I don't otherwise have direct access to. You can also use SSH as a SOCKS proxy using dynamic port forwarding, like this:
ssh -D 8080 remotehost
I can then set a SOCKS proxy in my browser to localhost, port 8080, and voilà -- my browser can access everything that remotehost can.

Socat

Socat has been described as "netcat on steroids." It can read from and write to files, pipes, and all kinds of sockets. I use it mostly for port forwarding (TCP relay). For example, to forward all incoming connections on port 1234 of my host to port 1234 of destination.host, I run:

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