Netcat the band


A geek-friendly band called Netcat released an album as a Linux kernel module on GitHub.

So, how exactly can an album be a kernel module? Well, the album, called Cycles Per Instruction, gets compiled into a kernel module (specifically, netcat.ko). When the module is added to your environment, it manifests itself as /dev/netcat. Piping the output of that “device” into a media player like ffplay plays the album.

If it sounds too amazing to be true, you’re welcome to try it for yourself. The instructions are straightforward, but I’ll reiterate them here with a few notes:

$ git clone
$ cd netcat*module
$ make -j4
$ su -c ‘insmod ./netcat.ko’
$ ffplay – < /dev/netcat

I’ve successfully compiled and listened to this album on both a Linux 2.6.x series kernel. The band’s GitHub page recommends ogg123, but lately some users have reported playback issues.  If you have a problem try ffplay to solve the playback issue, but you can also try mpv, legacy mplayer, or others.

The album itself is beautiful. It’s well worth a listen. It will, however, continue to play until you remove the module:

$ su -c ‘rmmod ./netcat.ko’

The band’s site can be found at