A useful network application is a simple program known as ping. It sends a sequence of control packets to another host. Control packets are used to establish communication between two systems, but carry no data themselves. Every system that implements the TCP/IP protocol will respond to these control packets. The most common use of ping is to see if you can reach a remote host. For example, you may not know whether your system is behind a firewall. One way to find out is to try reaching a system you know about, such as compsci at Vanderbilt.
To invoke ping from a Unix command line, just type ``ping'' and the name of the system you want to reach, e.g.
% ping compsci.cas.vanderbilt.eduping will start sending a sequence of control packets at a rate of one per second. As the remote host responds, ping prints information about the amount of time it took to send the original packet and receive the response. Type
^Cto exit ping and return to the shell. Here is the output from a session that used ping to try to connect to compsci:
% ping compsci.cas.vanderbilt.edu PING compsci.cas.vanderbilt.edu: (184.108.40.206): 56 data bytes 64 bytes from 220.127.116.11: icmp_seq=0 ttl=250 time=74 ms 64 bytes from 18.104.22.168: icmp_seq=1 ttl=250 time=46 ms 64 bytes from 22.214.171.124: icmp_seq=2 ttl=250 time=44 ms ^C ----compsci.cas.vanderbilt.edu PING Statistics---- 3 packets transmitted, 3 packets received, 0% packet loss round-trip min/avg/max = 44/54/74 ms
If ping does note produce any output within five seconds or so it
probably means it was not able to establish a connection. Type
to stop sending packets. ping will print its statistics about the
number of packets sent and received. If it sent packets but
received no responses then it failed to make a connection. Five
seconds is probably enough time to wait. A host usually responds
immediately to a control packet, and the round-trip time to
Internet sites in Japan is around 250 ms, so if you do not see
any output in five seconds it probably means you are not making a