The example program uses the Simple NDEF Exchange Protocol (SNEP) to send or receive NDEF messages to or from a peer device, in most cases this will be a smartphone. The name beam is inspired by Android Beam and thus will be able to receive most content sent through Android Beam. It will not work for data that Android Beam sends with connection handover to Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, this may become a feature in a later version. Despite it’s name, works not only with Android phones but any NFC enabled phone that implements the NFC Forum Default SNEP Server, such as Blackberry and Windows Phone 8.

$ [-h|--help] [OPTIONS] {send|recv} [-h] [OPTIONS]


--loop, -l

Repeat the command endlessly, use Control-C to abort.

--mode {t,i}

Restrict the choice of NFC-DEP connection setup role to either Target (only listen) or Initiator (only poll). If this option is not given the dafault is to alternate between both roles with a randomized listen time.

--miu INT

Set a specific value for the LLCP Link MIU. The dafault value is 2175 octets.

--lto INT

Set a specific LLCP Link Timeout value. The default link timeout is 500 milliseconds.

--listen-time INT

Set the time to listen for initialization command from an NFC-DEP Initiator. The default listen time is 250 milliseconds.


Disable outbound packet aggregation for LLCP, i.e. do not generate LLCP AGF PDUs if multiple packets are waiting to be send. This is mostly to achieve communication with some older/buggy implementations.


Do not print log messages except for errors and warnings.


Output debug messages for MODULE to the log facility. Logs are written to <stderr> unless a log file is set with -f. MODULE is a string that corresponds to an nfcpy module or individual file, with dots between path components. For example, -d nfc enables all nfcpy debug logs, -d nfc.tag enables debug logs for all tag types, and -d nfc.tag.tt3 enables debug logs only for type 3 tags. This option may be given multiple times to enable debug logs for several modules.


Write debug log messages to <LOGFILE> instead of <stderr>. Info, warning and error logs will still be printed to <stderr> unless -q is set to supress info messages on <stderr>.


When operating in peer mode this option prevents logging of LLCP Symmetry PDUs from the module. Symmetry PDUs are exchanged regularly and quite frequently over an LLCP Link and are logged by default if debug output is enabled for the llcp module.

--device PATH

Use a specific reader or search only for a subset of readers. The syntax for PATH is:

  • usb[:vendor[:product]] with optional vendor and product as four digit hexadecimal numbers, like usb:054c:06c3 would open the first Sony RC-S380 reader and usb:054c the first Sony reader.
  • usb[:bus[:device]] with optional bus and device number as three-digit decimal numbers, like usb:001:023 would specifically mean the usb device with bus number 1 and device id 23 whereas usb:001 would mean to use the first available reader on bus number 1.
  • tty:port:driver with mandatory port and driver name should be used on Posix systems to open the serial port at device node /dev/tty<port> and load the driver from module nfc/dev/<driver>.py. A typical example would be tty:USB0:arygon for the Arygon APPx/ADRx at /dev/ttyUSB0.
  • com:port:driver with mandatory port and driver name should be used on Windows systems to open the serial port COM<port> and load the nfc/dev/<driver>.py driver module.
  • udp[:host][:port] with optional host name or address and port number will use a fake communication channel over UDP/IP. Either value may be omitted in which case host defaults to ‘localhost’ and port defaults to 54321.



Send an NDEF message to the peer device. The message depends on the positional argument that follows the send command and additional data.

$ send [--timeit] {link,text,file,ndef} [-h] [OPTIONS]

Measure and print the time that was needed to send the message.

send text

Send plain text embedded into an NDEF Text Record. The default language identifier en can be changed with the --lang flag.

$ send text TEXT [OPTIONS]

The text string to send.

--lang STRING

The language code to use when constructing the NDEF Text Record.

send file

Send a data file. This will construct a single NDEF record with type and name set to the file’s mime type and path name, and the payload containing the file content. Both record type and name can also be explicitly set with the options -t and -n, respectively.

$ send file FILE [OPTIONS]

The file to send.


Set the record type. See NFC Data Exchange Format for how to specify record types in nfcpy.


Set the record name (identifier).

send ndef

Send an NDEF message read from file. The file may contain multiple messages and if it does, then the strategy to select a specific message for sending can be specified with the --select STRATEGY option. For strategies that select a different message per touch must be called with the --loop flag. The strategies first, last and random select the first, or last, or a random message from FILE. The strategies next and cycle start with the first message and then count up, the difference is that next stops at the last message while cycle continues with the first.

$ send ndef FILE [OPTIONS]

The file from which to read NDEF messages.

--select STRATEGY

The strategy for NDEF message selection, it may be one of first, last, next, cycle, random.


Receive an NDEF message from the peer device. The next positional argument determines what is done with the received message.

$ [OPTIONS] recv {print,save,echo,send} [-h] [OPTIONS]

recv print

Print the received message to the standard output stream.

$ recv print

recv save

Save the received message into a file. If the file already exists the message is appended.

$ recv save FILE

Name of the file to save messages received from the remote peer. If the file exists any new messages are appended.

recv echo

Receive a message and send it back to the peer device.

$ recv echo

recv send

Receive a message and send back a corresponding message if such is found in the translations file. The translations file must contain an even number of NDEF messages which are sequentially read into inbound/outbound pairs to form a translation table. If the receved message corresponds to any of the translation table inbound messages the corresponding outbound message is then sent back.

$ [OPTIONS] recv send [-h] TRANSLATIONS

A file with a sequence of NDEF messages.


Get a smartphone to open the nfcpy project page (which in fact just points to the code repository and documentation).

$ send link "nfcpy project home"

Send the source file On an Android phone this should pop up the “new tag collected” screen and show that a text/x-python media type has been received.

$ send file

The file is about 11 KB and may take some time to transfer, depending on the phone hardware and software. With a Google Nexus 10 it takes as little as 500 milliseconds while a Nexus 4 won’t do it under 2.5 seconds.

$ send --timeit file

Receive a single NDEF message from the peer device and save it to message.ndef (note that if message.ndef exists the received data will be appended):

$ recv save message.ndef

With the --loop option it gets easy to collect messages into a single file.

$ --loop recv save collected.ndef

A file that contains a sequence of request/response message pairs can be used to send a specific response message whenever the associated request message was received.

$ echo -n "this is a request message" > request.txt
$ pack -n '' request.txt -o request.ndef
$ echo -n "this is my reponse message" > response.txt
$ pack -n '' response.txt -o response.ndef
$ cat request.ndef response.ndef > translation.ndef
$ recv send translation.ndef