PING(8)                System Manager's Manual: iputils                PING(8)

       ping, ping6 - send ICMP ECHO_REQUEST to network hosts

       ping  [-aAbBdDfhLnOqrRUvV]  [-c count] [-F flowlabel] [-i interval] [-I
       interface] [-l  preload]  [-m  mark]  [-M  pmtudisc_option]  [-N  node-
       info_option] [-w deadline] [-W timeout] [-p pattern] [-Q tos] [-s pack-
       etsize] [-S sndbuf] [-t ttl] [-T timestamp option] [hop  ...]  destina-

       ping uses the ICMP protocol's mandatory ECHO_REQUEST datagram to elicit
       an ICMP ECHO_RESPONSE from a host or gateway.   ECHO_REQUEST  datagrams
       (``pings'')  have  an  IP and ICMP header, followed by a struct timeval
       and then an arbitrary number of ``pad'' bytes  used  to  fill  out  the

       ping6  is  IPv6  version  of  ping,  and can also send Node Information
       Queries (RFC4620).  Intermediate hops may not be allowed, because  IPv6
       source routing was deprecated (RFC5095).

       -a     Audible ping.

       -A     Adaptive  ping.  Interpacket interval adapts to round-trip time,
              so that effectively not more than one (or more,  if  preload  is
              set)  unanswered probe is present in the network. Minimal inter-
              val is 200msec for not super-user.  On  networks  with  low  rtt
              this mode is essentially equivalent to flood mode.

       -b     Allow pinging a broadcast address.

       -B     Do  not  allow  ping  to  change  source address of probes.  The
              address is bound to one selected when ping starts.

       -c count
              Stop after sending count  ECHO_REQUEST  packets.  With  deadline
              option, ping waits for count ECHO_REPLY packets, until the time-
              out expires.

       -d     Set the SO_DEBUG option on the socket being used.   Essentially,
              this socket option is not used by Linux kernel.

       -D     Print  timestamp  (unix  time + microseconds as in gettimeofday)
              before each line.

       -f     Flood ping. For  every  ECHO_REQUEST  sent  a  period  ``.''  is
              printed,  while  for  ever  ECHO_REPLY  received  a backspace is
              printed.  This provides a rapid display of how many packets  are
              being  dropped.   If  interval is not given, it sets interval to
              zero and outputs packets as fast as they come back or  one  hun-
              dred  times  per second, whichever is more.  Only the super-user
              may use this option with zero interval.

       -F flow label
              ping6 only.  Allocate and set 20 bit flow label (in hex) on echo
              request packets.  If value is zero, kernel allocates random flow

       -h     Show help.

       -i interval
              Wait interval seconds between sending each packet.  The  default
              is  to  wait for one second between each packet normally, or not
              to wait in flood mode. Only super-user may set interval to  val-
              ues less 0.2 seconds.

       -I interface
              interface is either an address, or an interface name.  If inter-
              face is an address, it sets source address to  specified  inter-
              face address.  If interface in an interface name, it sets source
              interface to specified interface.  For ping6, when doing ping to
              a link-local scope address, link specification (by the '%'-nota-
              tion in destination, or by this option) is required.

       -l preload
              If preload is specified, ping sends that many packets not  wait-
              ing for reply.  Only the super-user may select preload more than

       -L     Suppress loopback of multicast packets.  This flag only  applies
              if the ping destination is a multicast address.

       -m mark
              use  mark to tag the packets going out. This is useful for vari-
              ety of reasons within the kernel such as using policy routing to
              select specific outbound processing.

       -M pmtudisc_opt
              Select  Path  MTU  Discovery  strategy.   pmtudisc_option may be
              either do (prohibit fragmentation, even  local  one),  want  (do
              PMTU  discovery, fragment locally when packet size is large), or
              dont (do not set DF flag).

       -N nodeinfo_option
              ping6 only.  Send ICMPv6  Node  Information  Queries  (RFC4620),
              instead of Echo Request.

              help   Show help for NI support.

              name   Queries for Node Names.

              ipv6   Queries  for  IPv6 Addresses. There are several IPv6 spe-
                     cific flags.

                            Request IPv6 global-scope addresses.

                            Request IPv6 site-local addresses.

                            Request IPv6 link-local addresses.

                            Request IPv6 addresses on other interfaces.

              ipv4   Queries for IPv4 Addresses.  There is one  IPv4  specific

                            Request IPv4 addresses on other interfaces.

                     IPv6 subject address.

                     IPv4 subject address.

                     Subject  name.   If it contains more than one dot, fully-
                     qualified domain name is assumed.

                     Subject name.   Fully-qualified  domain  name  is  always

       -n     Numeric output only.  No attempt will be made to lookup symbolic
              names for host addresses.

       -O     Report outstanding ICMP ECHO reply before sending  next  packet.
              This is useful together with the timestamp -D to log output to a
              diagnostic file and search for missing answers.

       -p pattern
              You may specify up to 16 ``pad'' bytes to fill  out  the  packet
              you send.  This is useful for diagnosing data-dependent problems
              in a network.  For example, -p ff will cause the sent packet  to
              be filled with all ones.

       -q     Quiet  output.  Nothing is displayed except the summary lines at
              startup time and when finished.

       -Q tos Set Quality of Service -related bits in ICMP datagrams.  tos can
              be decimal (ping only) or hex number.

              In RFC2474, these fields are interpreted as 8-bit Differentiated
              Services (DS), consisting of: bits 0-1 (2 lowest bits) of  sepa-
              rate  data, and bits 2-7 (highest 6 bits) of Differentiated Ser-
              vices Codepoint (DSCP).  In RFC2481 and RFC3168,  bits  0-1  are
              used for ECN.

              Historically  (RFC1349, obsoleted by RFC2474), these were inter-
              preted as: bit 0 (lowest  bit)  for  reserved  (currently  being
              redefined  as  congestion  control), 1-4 for Type of Service and
              bits 5-7 (highest bits) for Precedence.

       -r     Bypass the normal routing tables and send directly to a host  on
              an  attached  interface.   If  the  host  is  not on a directly-
              attached network, an error is returned.  This option can be used
              to  ping  a  local  host  through an interface that has no route
              through it provided the option -I is also used.

       -R     ping only.  Record route.  Includes the RECORD_ROUTE  option  in
              the  ECHO_REQUEST  packet  and  displays  the  route  buffer  on
              returned packets.  Note that the IP header is only large  enough
              for nine such routes.  Many hosts ignore or discard this option.

       -s packetsize
              Specifies  the  number of data bytes to be sent.  The default is
              56, which translates into 64 ICMP data bytes when combined  with
              the 8 bytes of ICMP header data.

       -S sndbuf
              Set  socket  sndbuf.  If not specified, it is selected to buffer
              not more than one packet.

       -t ttl ping only.  Set the IP Time to Live.

       -T timestamp option
              Set special IP  timestamp  options.   timestamp  option  may  be
              either  tsonly  (only  timestamps),  tsandaddr  (timestamps  and
              addresses) or tsprespec host1 [host2 [host3 [host4]]] (timestamp
              prespecified hops).

       -U     Print  full  user-to-user  latency (the old behaviour). Normally
              ping prints network round trip time, which can be different f.e.
              due to DNS failures.

       -v     Verbose output.

       -V     Show version and exit.

       -w deadline
              Specify  a  timeout, in seconds, before ping exits regardless of
              how many packets have been sent or received. In this  case  ping
              does  not  stop after count packet are sent, it waits either for
              deadline expire or until count probes are answered or  for  some
              error notification from network.

       -W timeout
              Time to wait for a response, in seconds. The option affects only
              timeout in absence of any responses, otherwise  ping  waits  for
              two RTTs.

       When  using  ping  for  fault  isolation, it should first be run on the
       local host, to verify that the local network interface is up  and  run-
       ning.  Then,  hosts  and  gateways  further  and further away should be
       ``pinged''. Round-trip times and packet loss statistics  are  computed.
       If  duplicate packets are received, they are not included in the packet
       loss calculation, although the round trip time of these packets is used
       in  calculating  the  minimum/average/maximum  round-trip time numbers.
       When the specified number of packets have been sent (and  received)  or
       if  the  program  is  terminated with a SIGINT, a brief summary is dis-
       played. Shorter current statistics can be obtained without  termination
       of process with signal SIGQUIT.

       If  ping  does  not  receive any reply packets at all it will exit with
       code 1. If a packet count and deadline are both  specified,  and  fewer
       than  count  packets are received by the time the deadline has arrived,
       it will also exit with code 1.  On other error it exits  with  code  2.
       Otherwise  it exits with code 0. This makes it possible to use the exit
       code to see if a host is alive or not.

       This program is intended for use in network  testing,  measurement  and
       management.   Because  of  the load it can impose on the network, it is
       unwise to use ping during normal operations or from automated scripts.

       An IP header without options is 20 bytes.  An ICMP ECHO_REQUEST  packet
       contains  an  additional  8  bytes  worth of ICMP header followed by an
       arbitrary amount of data.  When a packetsize is given,  this  indicated
       the  size  of  this  extra  piece of data (the default is 56). Thus the
       amount of data received inside of an IP packet of type ICMP  ECHO_REPLY
       will  always  be  8  bytes more than the requested data space (the ICMP

       If the data space is at least of size of struct timeval ping  uses  the
       beginning  bytes  of this space to include a timestamp which it uses in
       the computation of round trip times.  If the data space is shorter,  no
       round trip times are given.

       ping  will  report  duplicate  and  damaged packets.  Duplicate packets
       should never occur, and seem to be caused by  inappropriate  link-level
       retransmissions.   Duplicates  may  occur  in  many  situations and are
       rarely (if ever) a good sign, although the presence of  low  levels  of
       duplicates may not always be cause for alarm.

       Damaged  packets  are obviously serious cause for alarm and often indi-
       cate broken hardware somewhere in the ping packet's path (in  the  net-
       work or in the hosts).

       The (inter)network layer should never treat packets differently depend-
       ing on the data contained in the data  portion.   Unfortunately,  data-
       dependent  problems  have  been known to sneak into networks and remain
       undetected for long periods of time.  In many cases the particular pat-
       tern  that will have problems is something that doesn't have sufficient
       ``transitions'', such as all ones or all zeros, or a pattern  right  at
       the  edge,  such  as  almost all zeros.  It isn't necessarily enough to
       specify a data pattern of all zeros (for example) on the  command  line
       because  the pattern that is of interest is at the data link level, and
       the relationship between what you type and what the controllers  trans-
       mit can be complicated.

       This  means that if you have a data-dependent problem you will probably
       have to do a lot of testing to find it.  If you are lucky, you may man-
       age  to  find  a  file that either can't be sent across your network or
       that takes much longer to transfer than  other  similar  length  files.
       You  can then examine this file for repeated patterns that you can test
       using the -p option of ping.

       The TTL value of an IP packet  represents  the  maximum  number  of  IP
       routers  that  the  packet can go through before being thrown away.  In
       current practice you can expect each router in the Internet  to  decre-
       ment the TTL field by exactly one.

       The  TCP/IP  specification  states  that  the TTL field for TCP packets
       should be set to 60, but many systems use smaller values (4.3 BSD  uses
       30, 4.2 used 15).

       The  maximum possible value of this field is 255, and most Unix systems
       set the TTL field of ICMP ECHO_REQUEST packets to 255.  This is why you
       will  find  you  can  ``ping'' some hosts, but not reach them with tel-
       net(1) or ftp(1).

       In normal operation ping prints  the  TTL  value  from  the  packet  it
       receives.   When  a remote system receives a ping packet, it can do one
       of three things with the TTL field in its response:

       o Not change it; this is what Berkeley  Unix  systems  did  before  the
         4.3BSD  Tahoe  release.  In  this  case the TTL value in the received
         packet will be 255 minus the number  of  routers  in  the  round-trip

       o Set  it  to  255;  this is what current Berkeley Unix systems do.  In
         this case the TTL value in the received packet will be 255 minus  the
         number  of  routers in the path from the remote system to the pinging

       o Set it to some other value. Some machines use the same value for ICMP
         packets  that  they use for TCP packets, for example either 30 or 60.
         Others may use completely wild values.

       o Many Hosts and Gateways ignore the RECORD_ROUTE option.

       o The  maximum  IP  header  length  is  too  small  for  options   like
         RECORD_ROUTE to be completely useful.  There's not much that that can
         be done about this, however.

       o Flood pinging is not recommended in general, and  flood  pinging  the
         broadcast  address  should  only be done under very controlled condi-

       netstat(1), ifconfig(8).

       The ping command appeared in 4.3BSD.

       The version described here is its descendant specific to Linux.

       ping requires CAP_NET_RAW capability to be executed. It may be used  as
       set-uid root.

       ping  is part of iputils package and the latest versions are  available
       in   source    form    at

iputils-121221                    07 May 2014                          PING(8)
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