UNIX ping Command Examples

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How do I use UNIX ping command to troubleshoot UNIX networking problems?

You can use the ping command to test the connection between the local server/computer and a remote UNIX server. The ping command sends ICMP Echo Request (ECHO_REQUEST) packets to the host once per second. Each packet that is echoed back via an ICMP Echo Response packet is written to the standard output, including round-trip time. Use this command to find out:


  1. If a remote server is up and running.
  2. Test network problems.
  3. Test network connectivity to your local or remote gateways.
  4. Verify network problems.

Unix ping command syntax

The basic syntax is as follows:

ping serverNameHere
ping ServerIPAddress
ping www.cyberciti.biz
ping [options] server-ip
ping [options] server-name-here

Unix ping command examples

Open the Terminal application and type the following command to test the connection to server yahoo.com server, enter:

ping yahoo.com

Sample outputs:

PING yahoo.com ( 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from b1.www.vip.mud.yahoo.com ( icmp_seq=1 ttl=50 time=311 ms
64 bytes from b1.www.vip.mud.yahoo.com ( icmp_seq=2 ttl=50 time=310 ms
64 bytes from b1.www.vip.mud.yahoo.com ( icmp_seq=3 ttl=50 time=309 ms
64 bytes from b1.www.vip.mud.yahoo.com ( icmp_seq=4 ttl=50 time=310 ms
--- yahoo.com ping statistics ---
5 packets transmitted, 4 received, 20% packet loss, time 4007ms
rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 309.710/310.718/311.594/0.966 ms

Send limited number of pings

You can stop after sending 4 ECHO_REQUEST packets with the -c option as follows:

## Controlling the number of pings i.e. only send 4 ping requests to cyberciti.biz server ##
ping -c 4 cyberciti.biz

Sample outputs:

Fig.01 Basic ping Command Example
Fig.01 Basic ping Command Example

Avoid dns lookup

Pass the -n option to avoid to lookup symbolic names for host addresses i.e. numeric output only:

ping -n -c 4 cyberciti.biz

Get audible output when remote server comes online

Say, you rebooted the remote server or connectivity is down between your home and ISP network. You can get notified with the -A option. It iutput a bell character when no packet is received before the next packet is transmitted:

ping -A host-name-here
ping -A


Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.