ping – Tests network connectivity between hosts

The ping command is a widely used utility in Linux systems that tests network connectivity between hosts. The name “ping” comes from the sound that sonar makes when it bounces off an object. Similarly, this command sends a small packet of data to a remote host and listens for a response. The round-trip time for the packet to travel to the remote host and back is measured, providing an indication of the network latency and packet loss.


The ping command is used to test the connectivity between two hosts. It sends an ICMP (Internet Control Message Protocol) echo request to the remote host and waits for an ICMP echo reply. The output displays the round-trip time for the packet to travel to the remote host and back, as well as any packet loss.

The basic syntax for the ping command is as follows:

ping [options] destination

Here, destination is the IP address or hostname of the remote host to ping. The options are used to modify the behavior of the command.

For example, to ping the Google DNS server at IP address, we can use the following command:


This will send a series of ICMP echo requests to the remote host and display the round-trip time and packet loss statistics. To stop the command, press Ctrl+C.


The ping command supports various options that can be used to modify its behavior. The following table lists the most commonly used options:

Option Description
-c count Send count packets and then exit.
-i interval Wait interval seconds between sending each packet.
-s packetsize Specify the size of the packets to send.
-t ttl Set the TTL (Time To Live) value for the packets.
-q Quiet mode. Only display summary statistics at the end.
-v Verbose mode. Display more detailed information.
-h Display help information.

Troubleshooting tips

  • If you are unable to ping a remote host, check that the host is up and running, and that its firewall is not blocking ICMP traffic.
  • If you are experiencing high packet loss, try increasing the interval between packets using the -i option.
  • If you are experiencing slow response times, try using the -c option to send a larger number of packets and get a more accurate picture of the network performance.
  • If you are unable to resolve the hostname of the remote host, try using its IP address instead.


  • The ping command requires root privileges to run, as it uses raw sockets.
  • Some firewalls may block ICMP traffic, making it impossible to use the ping command. In such cases, other tools such as traceroute or telnet may be used to test network connectivity.