Kernel module edition of the Cycles Per Instruction (2014) album.
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♫ netcat - Cycles Per Instruction

by Brandon Lucia, Andrew Olmstead, and David Balatero

Released April 2014

Cycles Per Instruction - The Kernel Module Edition

Welcome to the most unnecessarily complicated netcat album release format yet.

In this repository, you will be able to compile your own kernel module, create a /dev/netcat device and redirect its output into an audio player.

ogg123 - < /dev/netcat

This repository contains the album's track data in source files, that (for complexity's sake) came from .ogg files that were encoded from .wav files that were created from .mp3 files that were encoded from the mastered .wav files which were generated from ProTools final mix .wav files that were created from 24-track analog tape.

If complexity isn't your thing, you can go to our webpage and follow the links to a digital download or a cassette tape of our album.


We've only tested this on Ubuntu Linux. Sure, it's real easy to grab another operating system ISO and test it out, but after a day toiling in the bitmines, who has the energy?

Other people report:

First, install some dependencies:

sudo apt-get install build-essential vorbis-tools linux-headers-$(uname -r)

Check out the repo:

git clone
cd netcat-cpi-kernel-module

Next, build the module by running:


Building will take a long time. Hang with it. Building also requires several gigabytes of memory. We're not totally sure why, but we think it is because because the compiler is making lots of copies of several large, static arrays that contain track data.


After you build, run you need to load the module and see if it is working, so you can run:

sudo insmod netcat.ko

You should see output like the following from dmesg:

[ 2606.528153] [netcat]: netcat - Cycles Per Instruction - Kernel Module Edition - 2014
[ 2606.528153] [netcat]: netcat is Brandon Lucia, Andrew Olmstead, and David Balatero
[ 2606.528153] [netcat]: 'ogg123 - < /dev/netcat' to play.

Finally, put on some headphones, and run:

ogg123 - < /dev/netcat 

Track information will show up in the output of dmesg:

[  612.411529] [netcat]: Now playing track 2 - The Internet is an Apt Motherfucker

If you've read this far, god help us all.

People insane enough to contribute (thanks!!)

  • @mark-bi added support for auto-creating our /dev/netcat device. Thanks, Mark!
  • @arfar pointed out that not everyone wants to clone public repos over SSH, and updated the clone instructions to https. Thanks!
  • @jmtd simplified the command to play audio by removing the extra instance of cat. Thanks!
  • @gregkh for making our module coherent with standard Linux style and cleaning up some other loose ends.