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This is a tiny TCP stack implemented in pure Python, for fun and learning. It is essentially a finicky and slow replacement for socket where the interface is not quite right. But you can use it to get webpages!

It's built on top of scapy, which takes care of all the packet parsing and construction. This module handles actually sending and receiving packets.

There is an example of using it to get a webpage in examples/ The example is quite finicky -- it uses ARP spoofing to bypass the kernel's TCP stack, which sometimes results in it just Not Working. Running it a few times sometimes fixes this problem.

sudo python examples/

works for me. If it doesn't work for you, let me know! If you're not connected to the internet on wlan0, you'll need to specify an interface as well.

I use Linux and Python 2.7 and it works for me. I would expect it to not work on a BSD, and certainly not on Windows.


  • Can connect to hosts, send packets, and reassemble the replies in the correct order
  • Will ignore out-of-order packets
  • Basically it is appropriate for implementing curl, but not for sending data

Missing features

  • Sending more than one packet at once
  • Resending dropped packets
  • Handling more than one incoming connection at once
  • bind() hasn't been tested in the wild at all, just unit tested. So it probably doesn't work.


  • It needs to run as root because it needs to use raw sockets.
  • TCP stacks aren't really supposed to start and stop. In principle this should really run as a daemon, but it doesn't.
  • It needs to bypass the kernel, since normally the TCP stack there will intercept any incoming packets and reset the connection. So we listen on a fake IP address and send gratuitous ARPs to the router. This is why needs your network interface and a fake IP address.
  • It's slow, because Python. If you watch it in Wireshark, it does a hilarious thing where it gets backed up sending ACKs and then sends a load of ACKs at the end and takes forever to close the connection.
  • Sometimes the ARP spoofing or sniffing doesn't quite work. Usually if I run it 5 times it will work.


mini-TCP stack in Python, for fun






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