Writing out anything about
ping is either going to be a giant waste of time or a catalog of the obvious. I don’t doubt for a second that you know about
ping, and probably use it on a regular basis.
kmandla@lv-r1fz6: ~$ ping -c 3 www.google.com PING www.google.com (126.96.36.199) 56(84) bytes of data. 64 bytes from 188.8.131.52.ptr.us.xo.net (184.108.40.206): icmp_seq=1 ttl=51 time=98.7 ms 64 bytes from 220.127.116.11.ptr.us.xo.net (18.104.22.168): icmp_seq=2 ttl=51 time=88.4 ms 64 bytes from 22.214.171.124.ptr.us.xo.net (126.96.36.199): icmp_seq=3 ttl=51 time=87.8 ms --- www.google.com ping statistics --- 3 packets transmitted, 3 received, 0% packet loss, time 2002ms rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 87.889/91.704/98.764/5.003 ms
There it is in its purest form. The
-c flag runs through three pings, and stops. Some other interesting flags include
-a, for an audible ping;
-l for preloaded pings, which sends a burst without waiting for replies; and
-n for a numeric display only.
I feel obligated to mention that the data summary includes a standard deviation. I suppose with a high enough count and a little bit of console kung-fu, you might be able to work out z-scores, which personally I would find more useful for comparing networked machines.
Oh, and I should mention that
ping is part of iputils.
But that’s about all I can suggest for
ping. It’s a primitive tool that everyone does (or at least should) know about.
Still, given that so many applications hope to dethrone it, due diligence is important. 😉