One of the earliest parts of network troubleshooting is sending test packets between two systems. This is done using a TCP/IP utility called ping. The ping command will generate a response request from the sending computer and should receive a reply from the destination computer.

Possible outcomes of the ping command include:

  • Reply from [host]: The connection was successful.
  • Destination unreachable: The source computer cannot find a path to the destination. This often indicates the problem is with the source computer.
  • Timeout: The request reached the destination computer but a response did not return to the source computer before the source computer timed out. This often indicates the problem is with the destination computer.

Although using ping is one of the earliest steps in the network troubleshooting process, it only tells you that something is wrong—not what is wrong.


The syntax of the ping command is:

# ping [options] {destination}

The {destination} can be an IP address, such as, or it can be a hostname, such as server01.

ping Command Options

Some common ping command options include:
-c — only send a specified number of pinging attempts. By default, Linux sends a continuous ping until interrupted with Ctrl+C.
-v — specify verbose output.

Sequqnce Number

The ping command also provides a sequence number (icmp_seq) for each ping attempt. The host sending the ping can use this number to match each request with its response. Mismatched sequence numbers might indicate a dropped packet.

ping Command Examples

1. To send ICMP request to mentioned host:

2. To have the audible ping:

3. To ping for particular number of counts:

# ping -c 10 

4. For flood ping:

5. To set the interval:

# ping -i 10 

6. To ping particular iterface:

# ping -I eth0 

7. To sent specified number of packets without waiting for reply:

# ping -l 10 

8. To get the numerical output only:

9. To suppress the output:

10. To record the route:

11. To bypass the routing table:

12. To specifies the number of data bytes to be sent:

13. To set the IP Time to Live:

14. To Set special IP timestamp options:

15. To Select Path MTU Discovery strategy:

16. To Print full user-to-user latency:

17. To to set to verbose mode:

18. To show the version info:

19. To set the timeout:

20. To time to wait for a response: