ping: Everybody wants to be the ping

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.

But we’ve mentioned hping and oping and noping and fping and dhcping and ekgping and echoping and … anyways, it wouldn’t do to only look over the competition, and not give the original tool a chance.

kmandla@lv-r1fz6: ~$ ping -c 3 www.google.com
PING www.google.com (206.111.15.88) 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from 206.111.15.88.ptr.us.xo.net (206.111.15.88): icmp_seq=1 ttl=51 time=98.7 ms
64 bytes from 206.111.15.88.ptr.us.xo.net (206.111.15.88): icmp_seq=2 ttl=51 time=88.4 ms
64 bytes from 206.111.15.88.ptr.us.xo.net (206.111.15.88): 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.😉

9 thoughts on “ping: Everybody wants to be the ping

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