ping is a command that tests a source computer's connection with a destination machine.

Open your terminal and give one of the following a try.

ping localhost

It's all about the flags

Like any good Unix command ping has a host of flags. Let's explore some.

-A audible

Sound an audible beep when a packet is received before the packet what was sent before it.

ping -A localhost

-a audible

Sound an audible beep when a packet is received

ping -a localhost

-c count

Stop after sending and receiving count packets.

ping -c localhost

-i wait

Wait wait seconds between sending packets. You can only increase/decrease in 1/10 second increments.

ping -i localhost

-f flood

Output packets as fast as they come back or 100 times per second whichever is faster. WARNING: This is basically a Denial of Service (DoS) attack and it can be illegal to do against a computer that you don't own. I highly suggest only doing this on your own machine or a machine that you own.

Only a SuperUser can use this command.

ping -f localhost

It's worth noting that when I just ping my localhost I have 0% packet loss. However when I ping -f my localhost I have usually around a 20% packet loss.

-l preload

Send preload numer of packets as fast as possible before falling into normal mode of behavior.

Only a SuperUser can use this command.

ping -l 100 localhost


Numeric output only.

ping -n localhost


Exit successfully after receiving only 1 packet.

ping -o localhost


Quiet output. Only show summary at startup time and when finished.

ping -q localhost


Somewhat quiet output.

ping -Q localhost


Record route. Many hosts ignore or discore the record route option.

ping -R localhost

More info

ping Wikipedia page

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09 February 2013