15+ ping command examples in Linux [Cheat Sheet]

Introduction to ping command

ping (Packet Internet Groper) is a command-line utility in Linux to check the network connectivity between host and host/server. It also helps to test, diagnose, and troubleshoot network connectivity issues. With the ping command, you can know if a server is up and running. The ping sends ICMP (Internet Control Message Protocol) ECHO_REQUEST messages to the specified host and waits for the reply. If the host is available, it sends an ICMP echo reply message (ECHO_RESPONSE). If ping does not receive any reply packets, it will exit with code 1.

 

Syntax to use ping command

The syntax for the ping command is:

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$ ping [option] destination

Some options available in the ping command are given below.

  • -a: use audible ping
  • -c: <count> stop after <count> replies
  • -D: print timestamps
  • -f: flood ping
  • -h: print help and exit

 

Different examples to use ping command in Linux

1. ping command to check the network connectivity of target host

You can run the ping command without any option to check if the server of the target host is up and running. For example, to test our website, you can use the website name or IP address.

$ ping www.golinuxcloud.com

OR

$ ping 2606:4700::6813:9a5c

Sample Output:

ping command to check the network connectivity of the target host

You need to press Ctrl+C to stop the ping otherwise it will keep sending the packets infinitely. DUP! are the duplicate packets caused by inappropriate link-level retransmissions.

 

2. Specify the number of pings to be performed with ping command

When you specify the count N, the ping command stops sending the packets after N replies. You do not have to stop the ping with Ctrl+C.

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$ ping count N destination

Sample Output: 

ping command to specify the count

 

3. Check localhost network with ping command

You can ping localhost to check if you have a network connection.

$ ping localhost

OR

$ ping 127.0.0.1

Sample Output:

ping command to check local network

 

4. Set interval seconds between sending each packet with ping command

The -i option set interval time in seconds to wait before sending each packet. The default is to wait for one second between each packet, or not to wait in flood mode.

$ ping -i N destination

Sample Output:

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ping command to wait interval seconds between sending each packet

 

5. Perform flood ping towards target host

The -f option is used to run the flood ping. In flood ping, for every ECHO_REQUEST sent a period ''.'' is printed, and for every ECHO_REPLY received a backspace is printed. The interval time is zero and the packets are sent one hundred times per second. Only the super-user can use this option with zero intervals.

$ sudo ping -f destination

Sample Output:

ping command to flood the networks

 

6. Specify the number of data bytes to be sent with ping command

The -s option specifies the number of data bytes to be sent. The default size is 56 ICMP data bytes which become 64 bytes when combined with the 8 bytes of ICMP header data.

$ ping -s NUM destination

Sample Output:

ping command to specify the number of data bytes

 

7. Display only the summary lines for ping command output

The -q option can be used to display only the summary lines at startup time and when finished.

$ ping -q destination

Sample Output:

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ping command to display only the summary lines

 

8. Set special IP timestamp options

The -T option sets special IP timestamp options. timestamp option can be:

  • tsonly: only timestamps
  • tsandaddr: timestamps and addresses
  • tsprespec host1 [host2 [host3 [host4]]]:  timestamp prespecified hops
$ ping -T <timestamp option> destination

Sample Output:

ping command to set timestamp option

 

9. Specify the timeout in seconds for ping command

The -w option specifies a <deadline> ( timeout in seconds) before ping exits regardless of how many packets have been sent or received. ping waits for the reply in <deadline> seconds.

$ ping -w <deadline> destination

Sample Output:

ping command to specify the timeout in seconds

 

10. Set time to wait for a response for ping command

The -W option is used to set the time to wait for a response, in seconds. The option affects only timeout in absence of any responses otherwise, ping waits for two RTTs (round-trip time).

$ ping -W <timeout> destination

Sample Output:

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ping command to set time to wait for a response

 

11. Send multiple packets while waiting for replies with ping command

The -l option specifies the <preload> number of packets that are to be sent while waiting for replies. Only the super-user can select preload more than 3.

$ ping -l <preload> destination

Sample Output:

ping command to send many packets while waiting for replies

 

12. Set the IP time to live with ping command

You can use -t option to set the IP time to live (TTL). It limits the number of network hops. The value ranges between 1 and 255.

$ ping -t <ttl> destination

Sample Output:

ping command to set time to live

 

13. Print timestamps with ping command

The -D option prints the timestamps before every line.

$ ping -D destination

Sample Output:

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ping command to print timestamps

 

14. Use IPv4 or IPv6 address with ping command

The -4 and -6 options are used to specify the IPv4 and IPv6 addresses respectively.

$ ping -4 address

OR

$ ping -6 address

Sample Output:

ping command to use ipv4 address

When you use the IPv6 address with -4 option, it shows an error message.

ubuntu@golinux:~$ ping -4 2606:4700::6813:9a5c
ping: 2606:4700::6813:9a5c: Address family for hostname not supported

 

15. Perform audible ping

When the -a option is used, the system will produce a sound if there is a reply from the host.

$ ping -a destination

Sample Output:

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ping command to use audible ping

 

16. Report ICMP ECHO reply for ping command

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

$ ping -O -D destination

Sample Output:

ping command to report reply before sending next packet

 

17. Print full user-to-user latency with ping command

Normally, ping prints network round trip time which can be different, for example, due to DNS failures. The -U option can be used to print full user-to-user latency.

$ ping -U destination

Sample Output:

ping command to print full user-to-user latency

 

Conclusion

This tutorial teaches you to use ping command with different options in a Linux system. ping is a useful tool that allows you to test the connectivity of a specified host on the network. If you still have any confusion, please let us know in the comment section.

 

What’s Next

How to PROPERLY test port connectivity in Linux

 

Further Reading

man page for ping command

 

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